For all the attention placed on the economies of China, India, Japan, Korea and their neighbours, I’d suggest that western business is still learning about the east. And perhaps there’s more to learn than gets recognised.
Focusing on system improvements in procurement is a natural lever for technology and transformation, but unless the benefits are felt by both suppliers and internal stakeholders, the opportunity is only partially realised.
There are changes afoot, and what’s most important is not necessarily just the ascent to board-level recognition as much as it is a growing understanding of what procurement does and where its potential lies.
There is, the saying goes, more than one way to skin a cat – as if you’d want to do that. Similarly, there are myriad management styles and personalities, most of which have a time and a place where they are the most effective. But is effective leadership always reliant on context, or is there such a thing as a ‘great leader’?
Although procurement has made great strides in the past few years towards gaining the recognition it deserves, there is still a long road ahead. Thankfully, there are activities your company can start doing now to help.
There’s a lot of earnest talk of procurement moving to the next level and getting a seat on the board, but it’s hard to see too much favour being afforded a team that gets in others’ way. No, rather, procurement needs to be an accelerator; an enabler of swift process.
Recalls, contamination, disruption; we're frequently reminded how damaging supply chain risk is to business. That’s the problem – everyone knows that there are vulnerabilities in what they do, they just don’t necessarily know where to start in tackling them.
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