What Defines a Procurement Master?

In their recent piece on Compulsive Contributors, which reported the results of their 2011 Procurement study, Accenture defined their hallmarks of procurement mastery. Briefly, they were:

  • A formal procurement strategy integrated with the corporate strategy.
    77% of masters have this, 88% have procurement governance processes in place, and 90% provide innovative value above cost savings as a key element of such strategy
  • Effective integration with supply networks.
    66% of masters look beyond first-tier suppliers for collaboration opportunities (and 60% of masters actively monitor supplier performance)
  • Sourcing and category management excellence.
    Coupled with a push for better demand management as part of a long-term category strategy that drives continual cost improvement. Nearly 75% of masters have resources and processes in place to ensure compliance and nearly 70% of masters have structured sourcing processes.
  • More spend under management (SUM).
    And better visibility to boot (by way of a melding of process and technology). (81% of masters have an integrated end-to-end source-to-pay process and 73% have a master data strategy.) In fact, they manage 15% more indirect spend and 12% more direct spend.
  • They do more to retain and attract the best talent.
    While they need to do more, and recognized this, masters are ahead of contenders in terms of talent development programs. In addition, 67% of using balanced scorecards and KPIs.

These insights, which echo what many Procurement thought leaders have been preaching for some time now, are good as they validate what the experts know. Talent-focussed masters go beyond three-bids-and-a-buy. Taking the strategic approach, they look for value across the board — and deliver that value like no other function can.