The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25 May 2018. Companies that collect and store vast volumes of personal data will have to adjust their systems to comply with the new regulation. It is anticipated that this change will also affect procurement roles.

GDPR and supplier selection 

It is common for procurement and supply chain to use technology and cloud storage. However, many are outsourcing data storage and processing to third parties. As a result, when third parties are selected, more emphasis is on governance. This is primarily because the organisation will be held responsible if a data breach occurs. Therefore there is a need to ensure throughout the data processing supply chain that there is compliance and accountability.

Cost is no longer the main selection criterion. If there is a data breach, companies face the prospect of crippling fines and damage to their brand reputation. So, procurement and supply chains are now focusing on data privacy as well.


GDPR not only lays emphasis on complying with the regulation, but also dictates that companies demonstrate compliance. The different measures must be integrated into all stages of data processing. These changes and adjustments could prove to be beneficial for companies as they can show their customers that they have the capacity and ability to handle data in a responsible and secure manner.

This could prove to be advantageous for the organisation as consumers are concerned about the security of their data, and knowing that their details will be handled and stored responsibly is an attractive prospect.

Changes in procurement roles

Since there is a risk of data breach, it has become necessary for procurement and supply chain to conduct due diligence of suppliers. This means that alongside the standard duties of procurement and supply chain professionals, more roles including third-party supply chain risk officers will be created. Occupations such as these will be given responsibility for supplier onboarding and remediation as the need arises.

If you are searching for employment within procurement, it’s time to brush up your knowledge of GDPR compliance. This will open up more avenues and opportunities, as companies desire professionals within procurement and supply chain who are aware and informed of the new regulation.

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