Put your predictions away, no one knows what will happen this year. Earthquakes, massive mergers, collapsing currencies; the story will be shaped by any number of x-factors. But instead of crystal balls, we can look for some of the likely sources of intrigue in 2013.
The question that companies are often confronted with is whether they have learned lessons from the floods and earthquakes and revolutions that left them short on parts and scrambling to minimize the impact on revenue. But its not necessarily the right question.
It’s not unusual for procurement chiefs to have a background in manufacturing – if you’ve seen the production line, watched a product come to life from a design, you already know a lot about what you need from suppliers. But for many, there’s still work to be done in defining what procurement is to manufacturing.
Say what you will about the direction of the global economy, the commodity markets have remained sharply in focus this year and put pressure on margins, even if the pattern of dangerously high prices has been less endemic than it was at points last year.
It takes a quite a bit to impress someone high up in procurement. While marketing execs may salivate at the thought of a David Beckham-fronted campaign and chief engineers may hold the efficiency of an esoteric gadget in awe, procurement's purview is so wide and so varied from company to company that you're left wondering what the apex of the functions achievements are?
Sustainable sourcing is for many, a question of standing out from the crowd – being the greenest of the green. No wonder then that tools and schemes designed to help them do that have had to get smart with how they pitch their services.
It's been a week where commodity traders looked at each nervously as prices returned after falling sharply, supply chain risks once more grabbed the headlines and here on the Procurement Leaders blog we weighed up the finer points of value creation and global sourcing.
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