Procurement Leaders

Four questions CFOs should ask their supply chain leaders

ChrisGaffney_100.jpgBy Chris Gaffney, Mark Shaughnessy and Anshu Prasad

CFOs must challenge supply chain and transportation leaders to help build more robust, more resilient transportation networks.

Transportation seems to be the topic of conversation more often these days. It ranges from shortages on our grocery store shelves to the news of a large container ship stuck in the Suez Canal to more recent news of disruptions in fuel supply in the South-eastern United States. It appears that transportation has suddenly become more volatile and less reliable.

For supply chain practitioners, however, transportation volatility has been a reality for some time.

Procurement perspectives: managing effectively in the procurement environment

StephenBauld_100.jpgBy Stephen Bauld

During these difficult times of the pandemic, it can put additional stress on supply chain management in general. Sometimes in procurement, we can be viewed as the "purchasing police" from other organisation members with too many rules and regulations to follow.

From a procurement leadership perspective, attention is usually focused on the ability of a leader to manage people rather than non-human resources. It must be remembered that the management of other resources is essential. A person should not be given authority over people unless they can manage an organisation's tangible and other non-human assets.

In terms of people management, there are various available techniques, each of which is suitable to a specific type of environment. A procurement leader needs to know which method to use for each situation and every person managed.

The inclusive CPO (part 2): cultivate your team

AlejandraGarcia_100.jpgBy Alejandra Garcia (MCIPS), Vice President: Procurement, Royal DSM

In the first part of this three-part article series, I focussed on obtaining customer insights; in the last part, I will deal with crisis management, but nothing can be achieved in any function without an engaged, fit-for-purpose team - the focus of this second instalment. It is becoming abundantly clear that the transformation of our function is not just about organisational structures or processes, it must also focus on our core resource: people.

The inclusive CPO (part 1): love your customers

AlejandraGarcia_100.jpgBy Alejandra Garcia (MCIPS), Vice President: Procurement, Royal DSM

For most organisations, procurement was already undergoing a digital transformation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us last year. While the accelerated rate of change brought on by the crisis has been brutal, it has confirmed how critical our function is to maintaining a company's supply chain, and ensuring business continuity and long-term success.

Disruptions will increasingly be part of our reality and we cannot act surprised when unexpected events occur. While there are certainly 'state-of-the-art' capabilities and approaches to mitigating a crisis, having some fundamentals in place are key to successfully navigating them during tough times - and help us thrive when times are good. The basic principle is that business is there to meet customer needs and successfully fulfilling these needs requires aligned and engaged procurement teams.

I have captured this approach under the term 'inclusive'. This is not the standard usage involving diversity (e.g. gender, passport), but a broader meaning where we involve all stakeholders, listen to their voices and welcome what each one brings. In this three-part article series, I will cover the importance of customer insight, engaged teams and crisis management to become an inclusive chief procurement officer (CPO).

Hear more international insights from Alejandra at the upcoming SmartProcurement World webinar on 25 May 2021
WEBINAR | Building Bold Procurement and Supply Chain Strategies for Uncertain Times

PhD research: the relationship between project success and entrepreneurial performance

AletSnyman_100.jpgA senior buyer for the natural sciences portfolio at the University of Pretoria (UP) who is conducting research for her Doctoral thesis is calling for participants to complete a survey.

Alet Snyman, a seasoned procurement practitioner of 20 years, is completing research investigating the relationship between project success and entrepreneurial performance.

Alet is a registered Doctoral student (1285025) with the Department of Business Management at UP.

Should procurement report to finance?

GordonReid_100.jpgIn this article we unpack some of the comments posted during a recent poll on this topic.

Smart Procurement World (SPW) recently ran a straw poll on LinkedIn. The question that was asked was simply "Should procurement report to finance?". The poll garnered an impressive 669 votes with 66% saying 'No' and 34% saying 'Yes'.

Although the outcome of this survey is heavily weighted in favour of the 'No' vote, the results are far from conclusive, says Gordon Reid, Lead of the Transparent Procurement Advisory Programme. He unpacks the survey responses in this month's SmartProcurement.

4 leading CPOs reveal how they are digitalizing procurement

MatthiasGutsmann.jpegBy Matthias Gutzmann, Founder, Digital Procurement World

Digital procurement transformation is no longer an option, it is a must. Ignoring it today will ultimately lead to a loss of procurement's influence in the organization. On a more positive note, early adopters in digital procurement are already benefiting from incremental cost savings, increased productivity, and substantial improvements in innovation, quality, speed, and risk management.

As a CPO, it is absolutely necessary to understand how digitally mature your procurement organization really is, how you compare to others, and the key steps to digital maturity.

Why CPOs should report directly to CEOs

Betina_Nygaard.jpgBy Betina Nygaard, CEO, SCANMARKET A/S

Short-term results like savings are here to stay, but Procurement is also responsible for longer term results like improving profitability, time-to-market, innovation and risk management. It is time to broaden both the way Procurement is judged and also its role within the reporting structure.

Procurement perspectives: leadership in procurement is vital to organisations

StephenBauld_100.jpgBy Stephen Bauld

The COVID-19 pandemic looks like it is entering the next phase. We could be looking at a long time before we get back to the new normal and leadership in procurement will help to shape the wellbeing of organisations moving forward.

The argument that organisations need to begin now to train their next generation of leaders is not intended to suggest that a programme of study will produce leaders that are great. Although it can be stated with some confidence that the systematic study of leadership will produce leaders who are better than they would be without it, great leadership is a very difficult thing.

The Public Procurement Bill: an opportunity for reshaping socio-economic transformation through procurement

FaithMashela_100.jpgNational Treasury has highlighted that an important aim of the Public Procurement Bill is to use the procurement system to advance economic opportunities for previously-disadvantaged people, women, the youth and people with disabilities, and their business enterprises.

While this is the case, Dr Faith Mashele (FCIPS, MBA, PhD) suggests that there is an opportunity to improve and reshape the existing South African procurement landscape, in this month's SmartProcurement.

Companies' procurement skills woefully lacking

KateVitasek_100.jpgBy Kate Vitasek, Professor in Supply Chain Management, University of Tennessee

A report by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) outlines the critical skills gaps that face today's procurement professionals.

The good news is that companies have pushed procurement out of the back office and onto centre stage, accelerating the demand for skilled procurement talent. But the bad news is that today's procurement professionals lack the essential skills that they need to succeed. In addition, finding individuals with the right talent is getting harder and harder.

The self-disruptive CPO: why we need a new kind of procurement leader

BernhardRaschke_100.jpegWhat kind of future-ready procurement leader is needed to survive a rapidly-changing business world? Only a few months ago, the stock market was looking strong and the ongoing trade war between China and the United States indicated future pressure on global supply chains. No one could have predicted that schools and universities would close, companies would tell their employees to work from home and people would be stockpiling toilet paper, of all things.

Ethics in procurement

HemantHarrielall.jpgBy Hemant Harrielall

Factory collapse, fraud in food supply chains, modern day slavery. It is shocking to hear how poorly some supply chains are managed, with such dangerous consequences for life and limb, in almost every country and region of the world. No country has escaped a scandal of this kind. Allegations of state capture in South Africa. Fraud charges and horsemeat scandals in the UK. Diseased pig meat in China. And slavery remains rife in all corners of the world.

Coronavirus is a massive challenge for world leaders: what China, Italy and the US teach us about leadership

RobertGlazer_100.jpegBy Robert Glazer, Founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners

We often learn the most about leadership by observing our leaders in times of crisis.

As world leaders attempt to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19, they must simultaneously perform two opposing and difficult tasks: prepare their countries for significant risk and avoid inciting panic.

What we are seeing at the moment is multiple test cases in crisis leadership, as several different countries face similar versions of the same problem and react with noticeably different approaches and results.

Focussing on the COVID-19 response on three continents - specifically examining China, Italy and the United States (US) - there are clear take-aways and learnings on different aspects of the response to and management of the outbreak. These lessons are not only helpful to other countries as they manage their own COVID-19 responses, but they also provide valuable examples for leaders in any field, including procurement.

'CPO' stands to become the Chief Purpose Officer through digital transformation

ChiefPurposeOfficer_300.jpgBy Dr Marcell Vollmer, Chief Digital Officer, SAP Ariba

How does a Chief Procurement Officer measure success?
In the past, executives responsible for sourcing, contracting, purchasing and payment gauged success chiefly on their ability to wring savings out of the value chain. Without question, reducing costs remains as crucial today as ever. But, with the advent of digital networks, Chief Procurement Officers find that they now have an exponentially greater opportunity to create value. By linking together buyers and suppliers in real time, digital networks allow procurement leaders to foster collaboration, spur innovation and drive much of the strategic value that fuels growth.

These activities, of course, can benefit the balance sheet. But there are others, equally important, that a spreadsheet cannot easily capture.

How procurement can change the world

ChangingTheWorld_150.jpegBy Rod Robinson, Founder and CEO, ConnXus

When I graduated from Wharton in 1995 and decided to pursue a career in management consulting at AT Kearney, I had grand visions of being assigned to an engagement helping one of our multinational clients grow revenue through a high-profile M&A transaction or other topline growth strategy. Instead, I was assigned to a global strategic sourcing engagement for one of the most recognisable corporate brands in the world. I didn't know what strategic sourcing was, but quickly learnt that it was an approach to supply chain management that enabled an organisation to leverage its consolidated purchasing power to optimise the value it received from suppliers. This is when I realised that procurement was an often overlooked area of hidden corporate value.

What sets successful CPOs apart - a headhunter's perspective

MatthiasGutzmann_100.jpgThe role of the CPO, the chief procurement officer, is changing. Although many CPOs still have narrowly defined functional roles that emphasize cost savings and compliance, today's modern CPOs are business leaders who are associated with revenue growth, innovation and a closer, more strategic proximity to the supply base. As a consequence of this new expanding role, the influence of the new CPO has increased significantly and CEOs are now starting to pay attention to procurement in a way they never have before.

So, what are the attributes of a great CPO? What separates these procurement role models from the pack? Matthias Gutzmann, Founder of Digital Procurement World, talked to three highly regarded experts who should know this better than anyone else: executive search consultants.

10 Best practices for procurement managers in 2020

LindaAshok_100.jpgBy Linda Ashok
A content, communications and branding professional

So many things are slated to change in 2020, the milestone year! But what matters most is your career; how is it going to prepare you as a procurement manager? Okay, let me clarify that there isn't any significant difference between a Purchasing or Procurement Manager. Of course, you know it because you are in the procurement arena already.

Typically, a procurement manager's job description entails the following:
• Partner with the category teams and leaders in developing and implementing strategies to drive significant value from the supplier base
• Conduct in-depth research on existing and emerging trends, identifying new technology/solutions, screening potential new suppliers, and performing complex analytical studies
• Manage relationships with key suppliers, developing negotiation strategies, and conducting negotiatio
• Lead critical process improvement projects and drive higher value for the operating companies.
• Consult internal functional areas such as marketing, R&D, operations, logistics, legal, and corporate functions

With such expectations in mind, an aspiring procurement manager must possess modern skillsets that organizations will seek in 2020. In this article, we cover both the elementary and advanced expectations from the role of a procurement manager.



Career opportunites

Procurement Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Job purpose We are looking for a Procurement

Fresh Demand Planner/Supply Chain Analyst

  • Analyst Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain Western Cape
(Jnr - Mid Level), Supply Chain Planning, Based

Groceries Demand Planner/Supply Chain Analyst

  • Analyst Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Supply Chain Western Cape
(Mid Level) Supply Chain Planning, Based at Kenilworth,

Category Implementation Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management Supply Chain
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Head of Procurement

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Regional Sourcing Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Procurement Director

  • >500 000 KwaZulu Natal Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Procurement Specialist

  • >500 000 Buyer Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Senior Sourcing Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing Supply Chain
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Indirect Sourcing Programme Manager

  • >500 000 Contract Projects / Category Management Strategic Sourcing Western Cape
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing

Deputy Chief Commercial Officer

  • >500 000 Contract Gauteng Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
As an Executive Search and Career Consultant specializing


  • Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
Operating out of Johannesburg, this is a key

Tutor and Coordinator

  • Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Procurement Management Supplier / Business Development
Purpose of the job: To plan, coach, advise

Commodity Manager

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Procurement Management
Are you a Commodity Manager looking for the

Supply Chain Professional

  • <500 000 Gauteng Procurement Management Supply Chain
I specialize in placing professionals in the Supply

Supply Planning

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Supply Chain
Seeking dynamic candidates to take to the market

Industrial Engineer

  • <500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Procurement Consultant
Are you an Industrial Engineer looking to make

Logistics Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Supply Chain
Seeking vibrant industry specific individuals seeking new opportunities

Operations Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Procurement Management
Looking for an Operations Manager to take into

Supply Chain Systems Administrator

  • >500 000 Gauteng Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing Supply Chain
One of South Africa's leading, mining companies is