Procurement recruitment agencies seeking to source new talent in the industry would do well to check their awareness of the impact of big data, according to JJ Van der Meer of the management consultancy PA Consulting.

He said: “Using big data will help procurement develop supply chain tiers. If combined with AI, it will become easier to spot risks faster than anybody else.”

Professionals holding procurement jobs, he believes, need to start preparing themselves for four possible scenarios he thinks may arise after the Cambridge Analytica affair.

New procurement regulations

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, a new international protocol and treaty of data may well be approved, enabling governments to invest in an e-marketplace characterised by mass customisation, automation and short supply chains. The new regulations will include traceability requirements. CPOs in this scenario will need to be highly familiar with the regulatory environment and able to grasp upcoming trends, while driving change with agility and strategic thinking.

New enforcement agencies

Data could be become heavily regulated, with serious sanctions in prospect – especially if more high-profile data losses come to light. Procurement professionals in this scenario will need to be exceptionally rigorous about compliance, and may be assisted by having a legal or financial background.


The opposite of the first two scenarios: a new regime in which investments in blockchain-based supply chains take off and a data-facilitated economy takes root. Procurement professionals will need to protect the value of their organisation and possess diplomatic and influencing skills to direct stakeholders toward the right suppliers.

Limited regulation

This may result in information becoming siloed, depriving procurement teams of ready access to data about markets and competitors. Security trumps supply chain visibility. Procurement professionals will need to de-emphasise their inner data scientist and develop conventional trading skills, building strong networks in which to secure the best prices.

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