Thursday, 7 March 2013

Embracing digital procurement strategy

It has been reported that 60% of brand marketers anticipate a 40% increase in social media spend this year. That leads me to ask two questions:
  1. How much influence does the CPO have over this increasing area of spend?
  2. How much is being allocated within the Procurement budget for embracing digital as part of procurement strategy?
I'm not going to try to answer the first question at the present, although it would provide an interesting research question.

However, I'm inclined to hazard a guess, in answer to the second question, that most CPO's have not allocated anything in their budgets for a digital procurement strategy.

What do I mean by a digital procurement strategy? I'm referring to more than using mobile 'shopping cart' applications or twitter for advertising ITTs.  I mean setting out how procurement is going to make use of digital technology to achieve its objectives, say, for example, the objectives of cost reduction, risk mitigation, innovation, CSR.

By a digital procurement strategy I also mean how are you going to make use of the Cloud, mobile technology, social media and big data to achieve your objectives, and how you are developing the skills of procurement staff to address digital.

It has been clear that our sister profession, Marketing, has been concerned with digital strategy for some time. yet I see little evidence of Procurement giving digital much thought. Like Marketing, we too straddle the boundary interface between the internal organisation and the external environment - we have a responsibility for the upstream supply chain. We also have interfaces and communications needs with every part of the internal organisation and with buying partners.

Over the next few weeks I may give some more attention to the opportunities which the digital revolution provide for procurement. In the meantime I would be interested to hear of your own plans and experience?

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