The other day, my colleague ged that the name for the buying organisation has shifted from Purchasing to Procurement.
While this may be true on a universal level, we also need to keep in mind cultural nuances: while in the UK, Procurement seems to have won, the US seems to prefer Purchasing and Supply Management.
The transition from Purchasing to Procurement, one could argue, implies the function’s escalation from transactional and reactive activities to more strategic and impactful ones.
But why does the profession keep talking what it should be called?, questions one of the commenters. The answer is not far-fetched: the function is struggling to gain recognition within the wider organisation. In fact, the PIU’s recent CPO Strategy has shown that “increasing Procurement’s profile” is a priority that has dramatically increased between 2011 and 2012, more than any other priority. And interestingly, it closely follows priorities such as Category Strategy Development and Talent Management.
This observation suggests a rather urgent need for a rebranding exercise. But this cannot be accomplished simply by labelling the function in one way or another but surely, by getting the value proposition right and then communicating it clearly and consistently. And during times like this, where savings can only go so far and innovation, as my colleague pointed out, seems the way forward, what better time could there be but now?