Who can Procurement trust?
I have just read an article that summarised the findings from interviewing 250 procurement people from around the world. The interesting statistics that stood out to me are that they on average spend 25% of their working day in collating data on the marketplace and suppliers. Then 92% of the respondents rely on getting this data from their suppliers. With 60% replying on ‘costly management consultancies’ for this same data.
For me this is quite staggering. Of course you get the most reliable spend data on your organisation from your supplier as it will always be better than your Accounts Payable system. But knowing your market and the category of spend that you are responsible for is a key part of any procurement person’s role – can you trust suppliers to be open and honest, or will they want to play a game in controlling the data that they will provide you. What happened to Mintel reports; Keynotes; attending industry conferences; reading relevant market publications (such as Media Week); using Google to search for this information and of course talking to peers and suppliers is part of the data gathering process. When I talk to Procurement people about the basics e.g. industry magazine subscriptions, they say that they cannot afford it. One of my clients last year was a High Street retailer and I was passing them my old back copies of my magazines.
But as the heading to this article says, who can Procurement trust, and should they trust suppliers to help them know the market. Many of my agency clients do moan (a lot) about the lack of knowledge and skills that many Procurement people do not have, especially in growth areas such as digital. It seems to be more of an issue in training and education which would then lead to having a better awareness of the marketplace.
The only training courses that exist for Marketing Procurement people are the ISBA ones and you have to be a member. Our trade body – CIPS, do not run their Marketing Collection training programme any more but maybe 2012 is the year to focus on training and development.