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New Procurement Landscape: The Skills, Talent and, Experience in Demand


The skills and experience needed to succeed in the new procurement landscape are evolving faster than team development and recruiting can keep up.


People coupled with automation are the foundation for procurement’s success, but the challenge of getting the expertise need when and where, continues to persist. Our daily interactions with QSR, Grocery, and, Consumer Products procurement professionals continue to bring forward the gaps in team sourcing and procurement expertise as one of the biggest challenges today. When asked to identify which specific skills are in highest demand:


54 percent of those surveyed indicated data and analytical skills

43 percent said supplier relations

41 percent identified category expertise

41 percent said financial skills

40 percent said negotiation skills

37 percent noted innovation and collaboration skills


As procurement has moved from a tactical function to a strategic business partner, leaders need a variety of skills applicable across the business that will help the procurement organization drive value, improvements, and meet expectations across all critical areas. A role that once relied on technical and practice-specific knowledge now requires a well-rounded set of hard and soft skills, from data analytics and financial knowledge to negotiation skills and the ability -- and willingness -- to collaborate and innovate.


On a basic level, the gaps teams face hasn’t changed much, but the approach to bridging them has. Many procurement organizations today are ramping up training programs, professional development initiatives and cross-functional collaboration to ensure their teams are growing as fast as their needs are changing. Many organizations are also turning to Intesource to expand their teams in an on-demand or hybrid solution to internal resources with outside talent, scale, and experience.


Having the right team with the right experience and know-how directly contributes to value creation, performance, and competitive advantage, but what this looks like at the day-to-day level differs for every organization and project. The right team includes a mix of traditional procurement skills – like negotiation and risk management – and those needed for the new procurement landscape – big data analytics and cross-functional collaboration. The first step is to figure out which specific skill sets are most critical for reaching your business goals, and then work backwards to devise a plan for nurturing a team and network of partners that will help you get there.


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