Procurement Heads at the eWorld Procurement and Supply Conference

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the eWorld procurement and Supply Conference in London where senior procurement, supply chain and finance executives gathered to together to hear from a range of speakers from forward thinking, leading organisations in the Procurement Sphere.


One of the key representatives was Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader for Global Management Consultancy the Hackett Group . Chris talked about how much Procurement has changed over the course of the past year, moving away from a pure focus on cost savings and towards areas of spend influence, generating a need for a more innovative approach from procurement teams.


Chris also highlighted the key characteristics of world class Procurement Leaders, mentioning the ability to act as a trusted advisor, the skill to drive suppliers to innovate and the proficiency to provide analytically backed insights into supply markets. He summarised the session by looking at ways procurement teams can measure their own success by focusing on customer engagement, listening to feedback and sharing the results.


Another interesting session took place with Alan Day, Chairman and Founder of leading procurement and supply chain consultancy State of Flux . Alan talked in depth about supplier relationship management (SRM) and pointed out that although 80% of companies have reported progress with SRM, only 22% have seen it have a significant impact. He also highlighted how IT systems for most organisations are still poor, with less than 1 in 10 using IT to effectively support SRM.


The other clear focus of the day was recruitment, with many speakers raising the issue of finding the right skills in the market despite a growing number of companies (31%) wanting to actively recruit new members into their teams over the next 12 months. Salaries were also mentioned with Procurement experiencing an increase of 2.5% against the national average of 1.7%. Whilst this was generally agreed to be a positive thing for the profession, overall consensus was that salaries in the profession are still too low, particularly with the increasing need to attract the best talent in the market.


What was particularly great about the day was seeing so many people get together to discuss the hot topics affecting our profession and discuss how procurement, despite the ever changing landscape of the global market is emerging not just as a key business function but a major business enabler.



About the Author


Senior Manager and experienced procurement recruiter. Positive and results orientated with a passion for finding innovative solutions and delivering on every project. Specialises in placing senior Procurement Professionals across London and the Home Counties.

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