Daily Archives: October 18, 2023

Procurement Performance is Relative …

… and, specifically, good Procurement performance is relative to how bad you’d be doing without a good Procurement department.

A recent article on the Supply Chain Management Review on how Procurement Costs Increase, But Top Performers See Increased Advantage which quoted a recent study from The Hackett Group, really drives the point home.

The recent Hackett study, which found that Procurement costs did increase in 2023 and now comprise 74% of total spend, as compared to 69% in 2022, for Digital World Class organizations, also found that these organizations did much better compared to peer organizations where costs increased from 89% of total spend in 2022 to 93% of total spend in 2023. In other words, Hackett found that world class organizations spend less overall while also operating at 21% lower cost than their peers and 32% less staff.

In other words, a good Procurement department staffed with educated and experienced buyers will save the organization more than it spends on the Procurement department, while keeping its overall costs below its peers. This means that any organization with a world class Procurement department can not only keep its prices below its peers in a cost conscious consumer environment, but also increase its organizational sales while its peers struggle to hold onto an existing customer base.

It may be hard to see the value of a leading Procurement department when you don’t have one, but these Hackett numbers should make it abundantly clear. 21% lower cost, and spend, on average than peers is substantial. This means that even though your spend will go up year over year in an inflationary environment, the rate of increase will be much less than your peers, giving you a significant advantage. Furthermore, if your organization acquires and installs the right affordable tools, as chronicled in our series on how much should you pay for Source-to-Pay, including our article where we explicitly said Yes Mid-Markets, 120K is More Than Enough for Source-to-Pay!, you can see multi-million ROIs in the 8X to 26X range, depending on your annual spend and Procurement maturity level (that determines how much spend you can push through the platforms).

In other words, while you can never put an absolute value on cost and Procurement value as that depends on constantly changing market conditions, you can put a relative value on best-in-class Procurement operations, and that value is 21% better than peers. Twenty One Percent. Think about that the next time Procurement asks for more senior buyers to put more spend under management or better platforms.