It turns out that the chief procurement officers (CPOs) are pushing through the gates they usually sit behind and are moving into the role of innovator.
CPOs are actively reshaping their roles in the leadership suite to provide a positive impact on the growth and maturation of their company, according to a recent study by the IBM Institute of Business Value.
These executives are quite active and are nearly twice as likely to introduce new innovations into the company and 1.5 times more likely to have influenced senior leadership to enter a new market than their lower performing counterparts.
“The most advanced CPOs are proving that focusing on the nuts and bolts of procurement processes is not enough to bring real value to the business,” said Terrence Curley, director, Strategic Supply Management, IBM. “True procurement leaders who see the bigger picture can use their unique vantage point in the organization to drive innovation, grow revenues and expand competitive advantage. The results of this study can serve as a road map for all CPOs to follow who want to provide a real impact on the future of their company.”
These top CPOs are driving enterprise agendas through three common initiatives:
Focusing on the broader goals of the company, not just the procurement function: Top procurement organizations are setting their sights beyond mastering the procurement basics and towards driving the vision of the enterprise at large.
Serving as a conduit for innovation from strategic partners: When it comes to working with partners, customers and suppliers, top procurement organizations go beyond the tactical aspects of transaction support. The study showed that 92% of high performing procurement officers feel they can add value to external stakeholder relationships as opposed to 68% of underperformers. To that end, 52% of high performing
CPOs have leveraged suppliers to co-develop new technologies for the business vs. 39% of lower performing CPOs. Top procurement organization strive to engage with internal stakeholders as well as understand the needs of the end customers to gain a full picture of the business ecosystem.
Embracing advanced technology to drive higher value results: High performing procurement organization are deploying advanced data-driven tools to make more informed procurement decisions. For example, 41% of top CPOs have integrated advanced analytics capabilities into their procurement organization compared to just 16% of lower performing CPOs. These top CPOs are also more focused on social collaboration, talent development and automating basic processes as a means to help advance the procurement function.