the doctor has to stop looking at headlines, especially those on surveys of Procurement Leaders. Because there is no way that 14% of companies have adequate talent to meet future Procurement Needs. Why? Because there’s no way that 14% of companies have adequate talent to meet current Procurement Needs. Adding this survey result from Gartner with the recent survey result from Forbes who said that 9% of companies claim to be ready to manage risks posed by AI, and the doctor is starting to wonder who they h3ll they are asking to fill out these surveys … because it’s clear that these people either have no connection to reality, are drowning so deep in despair in their job that the only way they can keep their sanity is to pretend that the future is going to be way better than it is today (even though there’s no way that can be true if the company doesn’t fix the problems it has now because problems in companies multiply faster than European Rabbits in Australia), or are higher than a kite on drugs (as that’s how they deal).
The reality is that just about every company has problems in Procurement around:
- Tech: they don’t have enough modern Sourcing and Procurement systems, sometimes it’s because they are cheap are not-forward thinking (another problem), other times it’s because they aren’t technologically proficient enough (to even know what they need)
- Risk: otherwise, there’d be a lot less disruptions (even when pandemics hit as they would be doing more near-sourcing, have backup plans ready to go, etc.)
- Contracts: ask them where there contracts are, and what they are usually protected from and what they are usually not
- Logistics: beyond risk, chances are they don’t have the right network for the logistics they need or the right carriers for the network they are forced into
- Spend Under Management: they aren’t able to do nearly enough projects in a year to address enough significant/strategic/critical spend (either due to lack of talent, tech, turbidness [of spend], etc.)
- Negotiation: some companies are paying more on contract than the spot market, sometimes this is bad negotiation, sometimes this is lack of insight, but regardless, it’s problematic
- Forecasting: both actual demand (because you can’t trust Sales & Marketing) and future supply/demand imbalances and prices
- inventory management: (because JIT sometimes stands for just-in-trouble)
- Spend Visibility: for every dollar: who, what, when, where, why, and how … they just don’t know
- etc. etc. etc.
If companies had enough talent today, they wouldn’t have the majority of these problems.
But here’s the thing, even if the mythical company existed that had none of these problems, Procurement is still constantly evolving. The suppliers they need to buy from are constantly evolving. The supply networks from the supplier to the company to their consumers are constantly evolving. Technology is constantly evolving. You don’t even know what’s coming, so you can’t know what skills you need, or if your talent will be ready. (Hint: They won’t. Because, even though we keep telling you, you won’t Train Them! [Even though educated, efficient talent are way more productive, you still cut the training budget first for reasons the doctor can’t fathom!])
In other words, it’s ludicrous for any company in the real world that buys and sells products and services in the real world who is, more than likely, barely treading water today to think they are prepared for tomorrow! (Now, they might be in good shape if they have top talent today, but they still need to keep that talent trained and at the top of their game to have any chance of being ready for tomorrow.)