This is a great time to be in the Procurement business. New innovations and skilled workers are boosting the industry every day, and technology has completely transformed the way professionals are doing business.

While this is a net positive, it may be difficult to keep up with such rapid change. That’s where keeping an eye on trends can be extremely helpful. Getting ahead of the curve will help you to grow your business and attract talent. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry can help you to do just that.

To make sure you’re in the know, here are the top three trends you should be aware of in Procurement.

Trend 1: Adopting Emerging Technologies

For many businesses in the Procurement industry, adopting new tech is slow-going. In fact, in a recent survey, 87% of respondents said they are still focused on basic IT tasks. However, Procurement professionals should work to change this within their organizations.

There are plenty of software options on the market right now that assist with sourcing and streamlining. These platforms can help with buying decisions and creating efficiency across processes. They continually analyze progress and find shortcomings within business practices. Data collection and blockchain can also make these processes better for both the customer and business. Combining these tools can make a Procurement business increasingly efficient over time.

To get ahead of the competition, Procurement specialists will have to work with CIOs and their teams to find tech solutions that work for everyone. Even though an advancement is new and complex and makes sense to IT professionals, this does not necessarily mean it is best for the Procurement teams. Therefore, these teams will have to collaborate, and interpersonal skills will be of the utmost importance in driving change in this area.

Trend 2: A Say in Strategy

Over the past few years, organizations have begun to acknowledge the impact of Procurement. These functions have a vital role to play in the bottom line, and so having them in key strategy conversations is becoming the norm.

In fact, studies have shown that companies that have a Procurement professional involved in C-suite conversations greatly increases profit margins. Similar to including these professionals in IT decisions, this can help with realistic goal setting and strategy development at a higher level. Their insights can be monumental for positive business trajectory.

Therefore, Procurement professionals need to have strategic skills and be comfortable in the rooms where decisions are made. In the near future, they will have to hold their own in a boardroom.

Trend 3: Supplier Management

The evolution of Procurement means adding more talented professionals to the team, often with new skill sets, tasks, and responsibilities. One such role that has become more prominent is the SRM, or Supplier Relationship Manager.

Maintaining relationships with suppliers is key for any business, so bringing someone aboard to focus on this task can be beneficial. SRM professionals are responsible for consistent communication with supplies, risk management within those relationships, and transparency and insights into suppliers’ practices.

For example, if a supplier is performing in a way that is not beneficial to their organization, a Supplier Relationship Manager needs to either solve the problem with the supplier or find a new one. Either way, the business can approach that issue proactively instead of responding when it affects them directly.

To see more of our Procurement and Supply Chain insights, please visit our Michael Page advice section. You can also speak to one of our expert consultants to learn more.

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