The skills buyers should possess are changing. No longer is negotiation the single most important ability needed. Today, buyers must be able to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders, understand how products are made and engineered, know their supply chains inside out and be able to use the latest digital technologies.
Several things are driving this change, including the search for value outside of cost savings, as well as the digitisation of the function. Teams want to capture the data created within their supply chains and analyse that for real-time insight. To do that, though, requires very different skills and it seems teams have some way to go before they are in a position to deliver that.
Around one-third (29%) of CPOs believe a lack of analytics skills is one of the main barriers to the effective application of digital procurement, according to the Deloitte Global CPO Survey 2017.
Identifying that skills gap is the first step in trying to overcome it. Tools such as surveys, performance evaluations and skills inventories can be used to identify those gaps and plan future training programmes.
Many have focused their training here on using cloud-based systems, social media tools and wider mobile technologies. They have also looked to teach their teams to code in order for them to be able to understand the technology on a deeper level.
Some CPOs are including these skills in their thinking when it comes to hiring new team members. Rather than looking specifically at candidates’ experience, many are now placing a greater emphasis on agility, wider technical skills, as well as the ability to learn new technologies quickly.
CPOs can no longer afford to ignore the digital skills gap. Now is the time for leaders to prepare their teams for what will be a game-changer.
Procurement Leaders is hosting a webinar on the topic of the digital skill set: The capabilities your procurement teams need to digitise. To register click here
This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.