The world of procurement is progressing, fast, and it's fundamental we keep up. Globalization and technological change are disrupting every aspect of our profession.
Procurement professionals are expected to have an ever-broader skillset and are shouldering more responsibility. Deloitte's annual global supply chain survey revealed that supply chain executives need talent with leadership and professional skills. With this in mind I believe that making time for career development and training is absolutely critical. In order to get ahead, key-skills cannot be lacking.
Tom Derry, Institute for Supply Management (ISM) CEO points out that chief procurement officers (CPOs) often sit on 64% of its firm's total cost structure, making their decisions incredibly important. When you couple this with the fact that around 82% of CPOs have direct access to the CEO (according to CAPS Research), it's clear that we can make an enormous impact as procurement professionals. Whether it be maintaining cost leadership, addressing supplier disruptions or attracting and maintaining talent there is no limit to the changes and innovations the procurement function can bring to an organization which, consequently, means there is always more to learn!
We've talked a lot about the perceived "talent-gap" on the procurement networking site Procurious recently. We've been addressing whether or not the gap really exists and what we can do to tackle it. In my opinion, talent gap or not, it's always a great idea to develop and hone skills.
Which skills are valued the most in procurement? As professionals climb the career ladder, they need to be T-shaped—comfortable handling a variety of general business challenges and those more specific to procurement. They need to innovate, have the ability to navigate technology, mitigate supplier disruptions, etc. But, equally worthy, are proficient networking skills, good leadership, utilizing social media to its full advantage and emotional intelligence. The most qualified employee counts for nothing if they are unable to build good relationships, or adapt in different cultural settings.
It's all very well singing the praises of training and personal development but when training budgets are tight, options are limited. It is often not only the financial investment, but the significant downtime of having people out of the office, that is prohibitive to implementing a system for employee career development.
To meet this challenge, Procurious is launching a free Career Boot Camp to help procurement professionals at all levels. We want individuals to join the program to brush up on their key skills but we are also looking to CPOs who might want to engage their entire team with a quick, cost-effective training program.
For three weeks, as of today, we will release a short (five-minute), daily podcast from a selection of top procurement leaders and business influencers covering a whole range of the aforementioned key-skills. These will be accompanied by blogs and discussions for those who want to dive deeper.
This is about encouraging the next generation in procurement to get into the routine of learning and developing every day and to take the responsibility for professional development into their own hands.
Some of our podcast speakers include:
- Tom Derry, CEO of the Institute for Supply Management
- Chris Sawchuk, Principal & Global Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group
- Dr. Tom Verghese, Principal and Consultant, Cultural Synergies
- Stuart Brocklehurst, Chief Executive, Applegate Marketplace Ltd
- Gabe Perez, Vice President, Strategy & Market Development, Coupa Software
- Sigi Osagie, author, 'Procurement Mojo'
- Jon Hansen, co-author, 'Procurement at a Crossroads'
We believe that committing to just a few minutes of daily learning can make the difference between standing still and delivering more impact through a role.
If you'd like to partake in Career Boot Camp, you can sign up to access all of the podcasts here.