Typical profile of a Chief Procurement Officer

March 10th, 2020
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What does the role of a Chief Procurement Officer look like today? Based on several existing surveys on the subject, we've drawn up a typical profile of a Chief Procurement Officer by focusing on the responsibilities and current challenges of the role. And so, we'd like to introduce Alan, 40, Chief Procurement Officer in an SME and member of the Management Committee. His role ranges from optimising costs to creating value.

Diagram of a typical profile of a Chief Procurement Officer.

Responsibilities of a Chief Procurement Officer

Alan has four main day-to-day tasks:

  • Procurement strategy: He sets out the procurement policy, oversees and ensures that objectives have been met, and assists buyers with complex, strategic contracts.
  • Performance management: He introduces innovative solutions to optimise costs and processes, and keeps a watchful eye on stock, budget and cost management.
  • Risk management: He works with his teams to map out supplier risks (logistics, finance, CSR etc.).
  • Developing a solid understanding of legislation, logistics and financial planning in relation to the competitive world of his company.

Challenges faced by a Chief Procurement Officer

Alongside his daily tasks, Alan deals with a rapidly evolving environment and must therefore address five key challenges:

  • CSR, both in terms of social and environmental responsibilities (respect for human rights and working conditions among suppliers, training buyers on sustainable procurement, reducing energy bills etc.).
  • Operational efficiency by way of digitalisation, which may involve going paperless, automating transactions, introducing predictive tools etc.
  • Strengthening the relationship with the CIO in order to optimise costs and value creation.
  • Driving innovation by choosing innovative suppliers, incorporating creative, collaborative approaches and encouraging cross-departmental partnerships.
  • Creating value, driving the Chief Procurement Officer to go beyond procurement and cost reduction by incorporating these above-mentioned aspects (innovation, CSR and digitalisation) into his role.

The Chief Procurement Officer has undoubtedly become a key role within companies. To find out more about the role from a career perspective (skills, salary, training etc.), take a look at our job description.

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