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The Procurement Manager of Tomorrow

Only the bravest of brave procurement manager would raise their hand to proclaim themselves prepared for the upcoming decade.  To anticipate the challenging skills that lie ahead means they must also challenge themselves as an individual.  With these new skillsets and the continued assistance of purchasing software to meet a multitude of needs, soon they will view themselves as more of a strategic business partner rather than a simple employee. 

The Evolving Procurement Manager

The world is getting smaller, and while not in a literal sense, we advance into the future and progressively become better about traveling to conduct business in various parts of the world.  The procurement manager is in the perfect position with their business to help navigate the global economy. 

Today’s purchasing manager should be preparing for tomorrow as their role changes from the unresponsive doer to the trusted advisor.  The effect of this change enables stakeholders to act more quickly and decisively giving the ability to call on them for support when needed.   With their new role they are now able to support the business leaders to improve procurement performance as well as provide a main source of expertise to their business.

Crucial Capabilities A Procurement Manager Must Have for the Future

As the procurement manager steps into the strategic business partner role the thinking and talking to their customers as if they were buyers comes to a half and instead thinking of their needs.  The ability to understand things like world trade, cultures, and world market have given the procurement manager an much broader perspective of the global business landscape.  Their job is not only to assist their business clients in negotiations through that world, but also to provide insight, expert knowledge, and guidance. 

Another crucial capability is to not be held to a certain definition of procurement.  The ability to understand the actual needs of the business and purposely build capability to fulfill them will certainly be a large determination of how important the procurement manager’s function is for the future.

While a combination of analytical and soft skills that the procurement manager currently possesses, there are certain skillsets within these areas that will play a prime role to future purchasing success: 

  • Analytical Skillsets
    • More strategic thinking
    • TCO (total cost of ownership)
    • Full supply market analysis
  • Soft Skillsets
    • A greater ability to work in a team environment
    • Greater influential and persuasive skills
    • Better change management

Will You Have The Skills To Align With The Future?

As you can see, the procurement manager will need to align their skills with their businesses goals over the next decade; hard to do without looking into a crystal ball.  They have always been able to react when needed, they currently possess the skills to open savings and they have a keen sense knowing when just the right economic circumstance is to put them in position for that savings.

With the help of procurement software the procurement manager takes that skill globally to set their business in an increasingly successful position.  No matter what the role of the procurement manager is within their company or industry, their future is set to be difference makers.  Their role of the future will depend greatly upon being that difference maker in order to gain the competitive advantage.

October 23, 2012
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BY Bellwether
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