Re-writing procurement

Re-writing procurement: A challenge by Jayme C Bombo

Alex Johnston

A timely challenge on the value procurement can deliver, and how to deliver it

I had a very inspiring start to this week in reading a great article by Jayme C Bombo on ‘Re-writing Procurement’. With extensive procurement experience, both as a consultant at AT Kearney and 15 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Jayme offers a wealth of knowledge. The article challenges procurement teams to fundamentally revisit the way they deliver value to their organisations; outlining the why, the what and the how.

There’s a lot to commend about it- but three of my favourite insights are:

  • The need for new levers: Even when looking at cost-management objectives, procurement teams require new capabilities and approaches. To quote the piece, Jayme reminds us “most companies have already captured the low hanging fruits through traditional sourcing techniques”. When we combine this challenge with emerging enterprise objectives, such as those around risk, ESG and innovation, it is clear that procurement teams require a whole new set of competencies, tools and processes.
  • The fluid workforce: Jayme points to the benefits of better integrating permanent employees and external resources. Pointing to the opportunities of ‘on-demand talent pools’ and the appeal of the ‘gig economy’ to younger workers, he makes a strong case for more flexible work structures. A related insight was around agile resources, that procurement organisations should have the ability to bring teams together- according to project-specific, spend category and supply industry expertise- deploying them quickly to address opportunities or disruptions quickly.
  • The risk imperative: The critical importance of risk management features strongly in the article. It challenges procurement to step up and assume broader responsibility in the space. Procurement must be bold in working to coordinate enterprise-wide third party risk initiatives and take a leading role.

Procurement executives have left the pandemic with an enhanced position, and through this exposure have established a far broader and more strategic value proposition. To realise and maintain this elevation requires a revising of procurement capabilities. When we pair this consideration with a look at the disruptive forces which are challenging enterprises- inflationary pressures, uncertain Covid recovery, pressure on sustainability- this challenge comes at a critical juncture of the function.

Read the full article on ‘Re-writing Procurement‘.

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