Procurement Systems & Skills – Are we in Balance? Survey Results

Procurement professionals confirm the investment in enabling IT is not creating enough value – and not in balance with the need for on-going skills development.

105 Consulting Perspectives
We set out on this survey with the intention of assessing the trade-off between systems and skills in Procurement, and did not find what we had expected! The combination of tough economic times, requiring business functions to be evermore effective, and the history of systems investment that has taken place over the past five or more years, intuitively indicated that many organisations would be leveraging their technology investment, and operating at a less tactical level than before.

Why might we have expected that outcome? Three simple reasons.

  1. The basic expectation that systems improve efficiency, and enable better performance;
  2. Systems help ensure consistent and compliant adherence to processes and policies;
  3.  The data captured by systems provides more accurate information with which to make better decisions for the future.

Rather surprisingly we appear to have stumbled upon an area where the deployment of systems is much more ad hoc than we expected; the value they add to the enterprise is regarded with more scepticism than we would have predicted; and the up-skilling that we thought would have been made possible by the existence of enabling technology, is not widespread. The bulk of the value from the technology deployed appears aligned to improving transactional efficiency and compliance. We are intrigued that only a minority of respondents felt the technology supports them on their strategic procurement agenda. This perhaps supports our view of the need to build improved procurement capability through skills development, in parallel with technology.

Read more in the full report. Download here.

Where Is The Demand For Procurement Talent?

Where Is The Demand For Procurement Talent?

Despite some challenging economic conditions, we at EdburyDaley continue to see evidence that the procurement job market is still in much better shape than most other professions.

We have recently been the recruiting partner for several transformation projects where large PLCs have driven procurement to the forefront of their business.  Such opportunities are always attractive to strong candidates so this has enabled us to identify some outstanding talent in the following areas:

Graduates with 3-6 years procurement experience

At Edbury Daley we appreciate the importance of  identifying the Procurement Leaders of the future. We specifically target ambitious candidates coming through graduate schemes from the leading developers of procurement talent.  The competition for such people is strong in the current climate, particularly as the salaries represent excellent value for the broad range of skills they offer.

Category Management – Indirect Spend

In the aforementioned transformation projects, several of the organisations in question have looked for accomplished Category Managers with experience in classic areas of indirect spend.  We have identified some outstanding candidates as a result of these searches, particularly in Marketing, HR, FM and Professional Services.

IT category expertise in particular is in much greater demand than 12 months ago.  This article is quite interesting: Global IT spending to rise

Senior Sourcing Managers / Global Category Leads

With so many businesses still seeking to effect real change in how their procurement function operates, the need for “heavyweight” Category Leaders with the gravitas and credibility to influence senior stakeholders remains strong.  The ability to develop and implement a sourcing strategy at senior management level is not as easily available as many perceive but we have had great success in this area recently.

Supplier Relationship Manager

As previous readers of our research know Supplier Relationship Management has become increasingly high profile in recent years.  In fact, relationships with suppliers are more important than ever.  There are currently several outstanding candidates looking to move, ideally to an organisation seeking to develop its SRM capability.

If your business needs to identify the best available talent in Procurement or SRM, then it’s time to talk to us about how we can have a positive impact on your recruitment.

Procurement Market Update – Q1 2011

Procurement Market Update – Q1 2011

The early signs for this year’s procurement recruitment market are very encouraging as we are currently experiencing our busiest January for several years, with this coming on the back of a very strong Q4 last year.

In fact we were very surprised by the figures announced earlier this week indicating that Q4 saw a 0.5% contraction in the economy.  During this period, the demand for procurement staff was as strong as at any time since mid 2008 levels.

Here’s a summary of our observations on the current market trends:

Recruitment activity for procurement staff across almost all areas of private sector is up significantly on the same period last year, particularly in the Electronics, IT, FMCG, Business services and Consultancy markets.

Using our own data, we have observed the resurgence of the permanent recruitment market with a 127% increase in activity between Q4 2009 and Q4 2010.   This is in part due to an increase in business confidence and less pressure on head count.

Demand for accomplished category specialists in key areas of indirect spend like Marketing, Professional Services, IT, Telco, Facilities and Travel is strong, particularly for those who offer the vital combination of stakeholder engagement and change management expertise.

Many Procurement & Supply Chain Consultancies are actively recruiting into their consulting force.  In recruitment terms this is generally viewed as a good sign of an increase in activity and spending within target client organisations, also stimulating demand for the very best candidates.

Fortunately the market is characterised by a large number of excellent people looking for new roles, particularly those who have stayed in the same role during the recession but are now looking for their next career move.

This is also boosted by the availability of many people in the public sector who are concerned about their futures. However there is very little evidence of private sector companies recruiting public sector Buyers in any significant numbers so far.

After a lengthy period of relative stagnation, moves at the senior end of the market are starting to become more regular now. It will be very interesting to see when the CPO market really takes off but we anticipate it being at some stage later this year.  We’ll keep you updated on this next quarter.

The availability of interim candidates is markedly down since the middle of 2009.   In our opinion that particular niche market has now genuinely recovered, and we have already seen evidence of day rates starting to creep back up this year.

There is a noticeable increase in competition for “up & coming” procurement professionals. Such people are often graduates with 3-6 years professional experience and are perceived as being relatively inexpensive by CPO’s given the range of modern procurement skills they can offer.

At Edbury Daley we are specifically working to identify the best emerging talent in the profession. If you are a looking for that next step in your career please talk to Chris McGowan ( 0161 776 4605) about the roles we are working on at present.

Good news for all involved in the FMCG market, Hannah Jackson will be returning from maternity leave on 1st March. If you are seeking a new role in the sector or need to add new talent to your team, particularly in core categories like Packaging, Ingredients or Raw Materials then you can contact Hannah now via

Procurement Systems & Skills Survey – are we in balance? Our latest research topic is still available online.  We’ve already had some very interesting contributions and would really welcome your input before we start our analysis. You contribute to our research here and also access our research archive which is increasingly popular.

Having difficultly finding the talent you need for your procurement team? Are you facing some of the challenges we have touched on in this market report? If so please call Andrew Daley on 0161 776 4603 to discuss how we can help, or contact him via

Procurement Systems & Skills – Are we in Balance?

Procurement Systems & Skills – Are we in Balance?

We are seeing an increasing reliance on standardised tools, technology and systems in the sourcing and negotiation process. Any benefits these can bring in the areas of cost effectiveness, consistency, speed, and the creation of audit trails, are obviously good news.

Our question is whether the widespread use of such technology and systems is creating a generation of procurement professionals who lack some of the critical skills that are required for full commercial competency and agility.

This survey explores the link between systems and core skills.

The growing importance of Supplier Relationship Management

“Supplier relationship management (SRM) is suffering an “identity crisis” as buyers struggle to agree a definition, a study has revealed.”

That was the view of Supply Management magazine when they exclusively reported on our research recently.

“Effective SRM requires installation of competencies, values and behaviours aligned to the delivery against these imperatives and objectives. These competencies and skills are rarely found in the “standard” procurement toolkit.”

David Pomfret – Co-author & Director, 105 Consulting

The data provided by over 300 relevant professionals and subsequent analysis by the Directors of 105 Consulting offers a fascinating view of the subject including:

· What SRM actually means in 2010
· What business leaders expect from SRM
· Who is taking responsibility for SRM in major organisations
· What levels of competence exist across the specialist SRM population

Please read the full report here: EdburyDaley SRM jan 2010

105 Consulting specialises in maximising the value delivered from key suppliers through application of strategic Supplier Relationship Management. It helps clients install and manage the right relationship with new suppliers, maximise the value delivered through existing relationships and, where required, install relationship recovery programmes to improve any poorly performing supplier relationships. Learn more here:

Edbury Daley is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in Procurement and Supplier Relationship Management appointments. If you would like to discuss SRM career opportunities or need to identify suitable talent for your business please call Andrew Daley (0161 776 4603) or Hannah Jackson (0161 776 4608) or contact us via

The Importance of SRM

Thank you to all those of you who have contributed to our latest online research project since our most recent request at the beginning of September. We have some very interesting comments, and we are again confident of producing a very informative report.

As with our study earlier in the year into the Impact of the recession on Procurement (the results of which are still available online) we are particularly keen to maximise the number of contributors to the research. If you haven’t had chance to take part yet, this is our final request for you to contribute.

The survey takes 5-10 mins and the closing date is Friday 30th October so please find the time to enhance the value of our research. The resulting report will be published in November.

The survey is available here.