A new report from a well-known market intelligence firm shines a light on the many pressing challenges faced by senior professionals holding executive procurement jobs in one of the largest interacting sectors in the world: the global chemical industry.

For both seasoned practitioners and young professionals starting out in their first procurement and supply jobs, the report from Infiniti Research makes interesting and informative reading, highlighting the multiple ways that the procurement function works ceaselessly to keep this complex industry operationally efficient.

Commenting on the study, an expert at Infiniti Research said:

“Creating a competitive advantage by overcoming critical procurement challenges in the chemical industry requires clear insights into the market changes and effective strategies on how the company can adapt.”

The global chemical industry reaches into a vast array of other major sectors, including not only pharmaceuticals but also agriculture,
the automotive industry, manufacturing and construction.

The implication is stark: the ramifications of any significant change in the chemical industry will be felt by all the related sectors.

The report finds that chief procurement officers in the chemical industry firms view the implementation of sustainable solutions as the most effective means of meeting the most pressing procurement challenges.

The study found that these are:

  • Intense market competition driving ever-rising pressure on costs.
  • Exceptionally intricate supplier portfolios (this is a high-skill industry with an advanced knowledge base).
  • Continual shortfalls in the requisite skills among the workforce to deliver such intricate procurement strategies.
  • Insufficiently clear digital strategies.
  • Impediments with the implementation of concrete opportunities such as new IT systems.

Many similar issues will be faced by executives in the most senior procurement jobs in other ‘high-knowledge’ industries with global reach
and multiple interlinkages and interdependencies with other major sectors.

For fledgling procurement professionals, understanding the reach (and agile ingenuity) required of the procurement function in such huge
enterprises is essential: their careers, if successful, will bring them progressively towards these executive roles.

Better to understand the challenges early on.

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