Survey Says: Purchasing Contributes to Competitive Advantage

Once written off as a cost center, the purchasing function has gained a foothold in positioning itself as a key organizational contributor, a new IBM survey found. Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) who want a voice, though, need to put strong fundamentals in place in order to influence the organization.

“The most advanced CPOs are proving that focusing on the nuts and bolts of procurement processes is not enough to bring real value to the business,” Terrence Curley, director, strategic supply management at IBM, said in a press statement. “True procurement leaders who see the bigger picture can use their unique vantage point in the organization to drive innovation, grow revenues and expand competitive advantage.”

Conducted by the IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV), the Chief Procurement Officer Study (registration required) found that the most successful procurement organizations share several features including:

  1. A focus on improving enterprise success, not just procurement performance.
  2. Engagement with stakeholders to understand and anticipate their needs and values.
  3. Service as a conduit for innovation from strategic partners, customers, and suppliers.
  4. Willingness to adopt progressive procurement practices and data-driven tools to drive results.

Using these approaches, top procurement organizations are nearly twice as likely to introduce new innovations into the company and 1.5 times more likely to influence senior leadership in decision around entering new markets, the survey found. The CPO garnered the feedback of more than 1,000 top procurement leaders from $1 billion companies across 41 countries.

Any electronics CPO can help move business forward for their organizations using these strategies. We've invited Steve Peterson, research lead for IBM's Institute for Business Value to discuss the survey results and leadership practices in the purchasing C-suite at a EBN Live Chat. We'll gather in EBN’s chat area on Thursday, January 15 at 2 p.m. EST/ 11 a.m. PST. Join us and bring your thoughts and questions. In the meantime, take a look at the infographic below for a summary of the study findings.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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2 comments on “Survey Says: Purchasing Contributes to Competitive Advantage

  1. varatolly
    February 7, 2015

    excellent post

  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    February 8, 2015

    Thanks… I know this lays out the ideal. In your experience is it also real? Is purchasing supported in making these types of contributions do you think?

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