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Which Procurement Skills are In Demand?

  • October 25, 2021
Which Procurement Skills are In Demand?

With Procurement under increased pressure, the skills that are in demand are changing...

As a result of multiple factors, including, but not limited to COVID-19, Procurement departments have experienced significant stress in the last 18 months, and this is predicted to continue, especially within a number of harder hit direct material commodities and those industries subjected to continued oil and gas price fluctuations.

Material availability, price increases, volatility and supply chain disruptions have all come to the fore, creating a perfect storm within Procurement & Supply Chain. This has highlighted the need for Procurement leaders to develop or seek different skillsets. Before this disruption, commercial ability, stakeholder and relationship management, understanding of data and digitization, and cross-functional integration were all desirable skills, but now they are becoming essential for our clients.

To survive in the new market, Procurement leaders need to be predictive and agile. They need to understand trends and integrate cross-functionally now more than ever. The challenges brought mean the skills that Procurement leaders were discussing as highly desirable or skills for the future are skills for now; they are becoming the basic toolkit Procurement professionals need to navigate a new landscape for the coming years.

Our clients are seeking influencers, not the traditional strong negotiator – just being price focused, negotiating tough rebates, liabilities etc. are given hard skills, but they won’t build Procurement’s influence across the wider organisation. In the new landscape, a strong negotiator is someone with the capability to understand internal and external requirements and foster long-term partnerships; it’s an individual who can identify mutual wins while combating risks and protecting profits through market trend planning.

Growth of the global, commercial mindset

When availability of materials is low and competition is high, risk reduction and profit protection isn’t as simple as diversifying the supplier base or last minute alternate sourcing, and this is where the benefits of the new skillset arise.

Being innovative, proactive and anticipating change or challenges is also increasingly important. Being able to identify potential issues before they arise has always been a great benefit, but with the digitalization of businesses as a whole, and swathes of new data and ways to use this becoming available to Procurement leaders, the playing field is definitely not even.

Successful Procurement leaders need to be relationship-focused, data-driven and able to use new technologies to allow their businesses to become more integrated and agile.

For more information on how to upskill your workforce, yourself or simply to understand where your specific industry trends are heading regards talent attraction, please get in touch: