Digital Transformation is the order of the day, in all walks of life. Coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) it is touted as the next best thing, as organizations move towards a digitally transformed set-up.
Much is changing in the world of sourcing and contingent workforce management, and you need to prepare so you aren't left behind. The way organizations engage with talent will continue to shift. Technology will continue to impact procurement. To remain effective, the procurement function will need to evolve.
According to Peter Smith of Spend Matters UK/Europe, procurement needs to change too. "It needs to move away from the dominant focus on unit cost reduction that still prevails in many organizations, to playing a wider and more fundamental role in the organization. We see the procurement role as 'managing the value the organization gains from its dealings with the external world of suppliers and potential suppliers.'"
And in such a changed environment, the role of the Chief Procurement Officer is all set to change too.
Skills for the Future
According to recent research by the European Institute of Purchasing Managers (EIPM), CPOs have highlighted six purchasing skills as being the most important to career success over the next five years. These are equally split between analytical and soft skills.
- Strategic thinking
- Total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Supply market analysis
- The ability to work in teams
- Influencing and persuasion skills
- Change management
While none of these are new skills, the research predicts that they will be key to purchasing success. According to Pat Law, MD of Hays Procurement, "Candidates that can successfully combine traditional procurement skills with more interpersonal skills such as relationship building are highly sought after".
Thus surprisingly, the Chief Procurement Officer in 2025 will not be a highly skilled, logically sound ‘automated machine’ with a high rate of output. Instead, ‘empathy’ and ‘creativity’ – now thought of as traits, will be the most valuable skills. Indeed, they will become increasingly important. As they do, so will emotional intelligence. In an environment where less focus is needed on operational processes and data analysis, empathy and the ability to understand people and to be able to respond and cooperate with others will become a necessity.