The More Things Change … Outsourcing and Procurement Mastery

This week we’re revisiting posts from ten years ago to demonstrate that, to date, the more things change in Procurement, the more they have, unfortunately, stayed essentially the same.

Ten years ago we penned a post on outsourcing and procurement mastery that summarized the results of an Accenture study that found that, on 1B of controlled (normalized) spend, procurement masters achieved 30% higher savings with costs that were 50% lower.

Nothing has changed. If you have been following the Hackett group publications for the past decade, you’ll note that top performers always perform significantly better than average performers. Maybe not 30% cost reductions, but pretty close. For example, in Hackett’s most recent study, World Class Procurement organizations see 35% process cost reduction, which is quite significant. And just about every GPO publishes typical category-based cost reductions in the 10% to 30% range, which is easily achievable through advanced sourcing technologies such as spend analysis (to identify the opportunity) and decision optimization (to capture the opportunities).

The only thing that has changed is how disturbing it is that there is still so much overspend in the average organization — and how easy it is to identify it. By now the majority of organizations should own advanced sourcing and procurement technologies and be identifying the majority of these savings on a regular basis. But it’s still not the case. Over 40% of organizations don’t have a single modern sourcing or procurement solution.

We’re still way behind where we should be. In this regard, unfortunately, nothing significant has changed in a decade.