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Development of skill sets will be key to the future of procurement, says Cast UK

As procurement executives are under pressure to perform in an era of globalisation and outsourced capabilities, many are pushing procurement in directions where new models and new ways of working are essential. This year, KPMG has released findings from its "25 in 25" research where 25 senior chief procurement officers and executives were asked to comment on what the world of procurement will look like in 2025.

Commenting on these findings, managing consultant at specialist recruitment company, Cast UK, Mark Nesbit points to the development of employee skill sets to incorporate a broad spectrum of capabilities as key to effective talent management and recruitment, which was noted as "central" in the KPMG report.

"Individuals will be required to develop an improved balance between sourcing expertise and business awareness, and a consultative approach to stakeholder engagement will certainly facilitate this. Furthermore, the attraction of procurement as a career path for the best graduates will certainly be heightened as the industry strives towards recognition as a business partner alongside IT, Finance and HR," said Mark.

Based on findings, KPMG discovered that top-level execs believe procurement can provide greater value to businesses than they do. Additionally, chief procurement officers (CPO) see procurement’s future role of challenging many of the existing assumptions of procurement as a "cost savings enabler," developing into a "trusted partner," and culminating into a future role as "supply chain innovator".

"As a professional level recruiter in this space, I’m intrigued as to how my clients’ requirements evolve as we move forward, and how university programmes adapt to these new demands and ensure that professionals coming into procurement understand the new role procurement will play in business," said Mark.

At Cast UK, all senior recruiters have either worked directly in logistics and procurement or have extensive experience in our specialist areas. This business model ensures that recruiters are informed about the industry challenges faced by their clients and they can assist them with finding the right people to tackle these demands.

"It will be interesting to understand if future recruiting managers will truly be comfortable in appointing experienced technical specialists into their teams and then making the necessary investment to ‘up-skill’ them into procurement.

"Though the parallels in soft skills required for success in marketing, sales and business development are obvious with those in procurement, I fear it may be some time before we see experienced candidates consistently being given the opportunity to make this leap – though I very much hope this is not 25 years away," concluded Mark.

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