Daily Archives: December 19, 2014

After Two Series on the Future of Procurement – What Have We Learned I

After two series, fifty (50) posts, AND almost seventy-five (75) pages on the “future” of Procurement, what have we learned? Besides the fact that most futurists are backwards-looking attention-seeking historians who will happily sell you snake oil past its expiration date, we’ve learned that they are able to sell this snake oil because they are addressing issues that not all organizations have encountered yet.

Recognizing that certain issues and trends are only encountered when an organization reaches a certain level of maturity and/or size, these futurists have figured out that when they target those organizations that are below a given level of maturity and/or smaller than a certain size, they look like they are visionary when, in fact, they are just selling knowledge they acquired by keeping a close eye on the leaders.

In the end, what we learned is that the trends they are telling us about are the trends that, if they haven’t hit you yet because your organization hasn’t matured or grown enough, you have to plough though in order to get to the true future trends.

We’ve mentioned three. We’ve discussed the Top Ten Trends for 2015. And maybe, if the LOLCats let us, well discuss a few more future trends. But for now, we need to focus on the trends that won’t end and what your organization needs to do to get these trends under control and out of the way. If we review all of the trends, we find there are a (core) set of (common) categories of common and related issues that must be addressed to deal with the trends. The fourteen categories that are the most important with respect to the futurist anti-trends that we examined are:

  • Cost Control
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Home / Near / Far Sourcing
  • Knowledge Management
  • Market Assessment
  • Market Intelligence
  • Organizational Insight
  • Regulations
  • Risk Management
  • Supplier Development
  • Supply Chain / Inventory Flexibility
  • Talent
  • Technology
  • Transportation

In our next post we’ll break out the sub-requirements in each category as they provide a guide that helps you target your learning and organizational advancement.