Author: Jonathan Webb - Categories: Procurement Strategy
For many in the business world, the summer months are a peaceful period spent on a sunny beach. Buyers, however, are worried as category plans are urgently being forged for the next year.
To address this, the PIU are launching our newest survey. We are looking into procurement planning for 2013. In perhaps our most ambitious survey yet, we are seeking to assess planning on two levels:
- For CPOs/directors and functional strategy;
- For category managers and sourcing strategy.
For those interested in comparing their plans and thoughts on the market to their peers, the survey can be taken here.
If we look back at the preceding years, we see issues like risk and supply chain vulnerability dominating the concerns for procurement. In our CPO Strategy surveys, we see familiar preoccupations with cost cutting and talent management, but how are these attitudes of leaders forming the shapes their plans?
The lessons of the past few years, in which the global supply chain has been battered by a variety of natural and man-made disasters, was that nimbleness was a key virtue of planning for buyers. But with these lessons (hopefully) being learnt, what are companies practically intending to do in the year that follows?
Which geographies are going to be the next hotspots? What skills do organisations need in the next 12 months? How much are organisations willing to invest in their supply chains?
There is also the threat of generals fighting the last war when it comes to these plans. Some of the concerns of the past may cloud judgment about the future issues. Buyers may be unduly influenced by past events to be able to anticipate the leading factors of 2013. But, to quote a wise general, Dwight Eisenhower: "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."