Candidates for new-generation procurement and supply chain jobs will need to show enhanced aptitudes in business acumen and data analysis, and demonstrate modelling, agility, change orientation, creativity, and innovation, a prominent expert has advised following new research from the influential Florida-based consulting firm, The Hackett Group.

The remarks came from Chris Sawchuk, The Hackett Group’s Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader, after a new study from the Group – “World-Class Procurement: Redefining Performance in a Digital Era” found that following the full deployment of digital procurement tools, most procurement organisations can improve operational cost reduction efforts by up to 45% and achieve efficiency levels to rival today’s world-class procurement organisations. The Group’s researchers also found that practitioners in procurement jobs, whether procurement interims or permanent staff, could improve their effectiveness and customer experience as a direct result of digital procurement transformation initiatives.

World-class procurement organisations typically spend 22% less, on average, than their competitors. However, with comprehensive digital transformation initiatives, the same organisations achieve additional cost reductions amounting to 33%, the study found.

The research also shows that full-scale digital transformation, though desirable, isn’t necessary to achieve welcome benefits. Significant improvements can be harnessed with a simpler interim approach, using smart automation technologies such as smart data capture, robotic process automation, and cognitive automation. These can deliver cost reductions of 17%. Addressing the changes to procurement jobs driven by these digital tools, Mr Sawchuk said: “We have seen more focus on supply management competency assessment and enhancement over the last year than we have in the last 5 years.” A more concentrated customer-centric approach to service delivery enabled by these new technologies also helped world-class procurement organisations to provide greater business benefits to their companies, the study found.

Finally, the study found that full procurement transformation required extra innovations to technology alone, including service delivery, analytics, and information management, governance, partnering, and human capital.


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