In the run-up to the next ProcureCon Indirect Europe – a major event in the procurement community – WBR Insights recently surveyed 100 indirect procurement professionals to get a better understanding of their current and future concerns. Six key themes, specific to non-strategic procurement, emerged from the survey…
1. Value creation
Creating value for stakeholders (internal customers, management, suppliers…) remains the number 1 priority for indirect procurement teams! However, it seems that the focus is now on defining and measuring the achievement of targets in this area.
For indirect procurement, the concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is not yet integrated into corporate strategies. However, the professionals are well aware that this is an area for improvement that needs to be addressed, whether it is about the origin of products, their manufacturing conditions, or the use of child labour… which makes this their number 2 priority.
Automating processes through e-procurement solutions or the use of robotic process automation (RPA) is an area that has become increasingly important in recent years. However, the maturity level of companies varies depending on the tools involved. While 82% of decision-makers in indirect procurement say that e-procurement is an important, even major, part of their strategy, RPA seems significantly less advanced, with only 34% of respondents claiming to have implemented it.
4. Cost control
Unsurprisingly, cost control is and will remain one of the major goals for procurement departments. The leading methods used to date remain:
- Supplier negotiations
- Adjustment of specifications
- Pooling/bundling of purchases
- Change of suppliers
- The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) approach.
Indirect procurement professionals are keen to promote innovation, and they consider their suppliers to be among the main drivers of innovation (51%). The suppliers also rely heavily on the involvement of their internal teams to come up with innovative ideas or solutions, thereby creating more value.
6. Talent development
It is essential to prepare teams for the technological revolution and the upcoming changes in our line of work! While this remains a priority for indirect procurement departments, it arrives in 6th and final position in this list. As Nina Bomberg, Sourcing Professional at SEG Automotive points out: “As long as we value automation more than talent development, we should not be surprised that not all our people are keeping up with the technological change.”
These topics already give us plenty to think about when adjusting our priorities for the year already under way!