Procurement and supply chain roles - how these might change in the future.
Procurement and supply chain roles are constantly evolving and changing to meet the demands of a highly dynamic sector. The impact of the pandemic has added extra layers of complexity to the supply chain and forced our industry to review the way we respond to crises and disruptions. It has made us realise that we need to up our game and place digitalisation at the top of the agenda.
A 2020 survey from Gartner, Developing the Supply Chain Professional 2020 found that 47% of respondents expect to increase the speed of their digital initiatives in order to find innovative ways to drive growth. Though a Gartner survey from the previous year found only 27% of leaders agree that they have the talent needed to meet current supply chain performance requirements. Below we reveal some of the survey’s key recommendations on how procurement and supply chain roles might need to change in the future.
Building Digital Dexterity in Procurement and Supply Chain Roles
The Gartner report states that in order for digitalisation in the supply chain to be effective, roles need to focus on improving digital dexterity competencies. Workers must be able to adapt quickly to new technologies, leverage data and analytics and incorporate new ways of working into legacy systems. Employees must have the ambition and ability to build digital businesses and the ambition and ability to work digitally.
Here are the main competencies the report identifies for driving digital dexterity in procurement and supply chain roles, and their associated behaviours.
Competency - Business acumen
The worker should be outcome-focused and aware of how their work affects the customer. Rather than focussing on short term or personal wins they should prioritise the business’s long-term goals.
Competency - Adaptability
Adaptability in procurement and supply chain roles means to be able to successfully deliver work in new, uncertain and ambiguous situations. The employee should be intellectually curious and approach obstacles with a tenacious and positive attitude.
Competency - Political savviness
This competency refers to the ability to get support from a wide range of stakeholders. The employee should demonstrate good self-awareness and show empathy and emotional intelligence.
Competency - Fusion collaboration
This slight odd-named competency refers to the employee’s ability to leverages their peers’ strengths to inform and strengthen their own work. They should thrive in a team setting and be able to communicate clearly, adjusting their style to suit the audience.
Competency - Systems thinking
Put simply, this means to understand how the employee’s work affects other functions within the organisation, as well as the overall business. The employee should be able to incorporate and assess risk and security practices and understands the relationship between different company technologies.
Building Data Literacy in Procurement and Supply Chain Roles
Good data literacy is vital for modern procurement and supply chain professionals.
Here are the main competencies the report identifies for building data literacy in procurement and supply chain roles, and their associated behaviours.
Competency - Business Value
Employees should be able to freely share and discuss data and analytics and the decisions they support. They should be confident when describing how their company’s data enables collaboration and use data-led insights to inform innovations.
Competency - Data
Employees must view data as a strategic asset and be able to distinguish between data quality, master data management and information governance/stewardship. They should be able to name multiple data sources that are relevant to the supply chain.
Competency - Analytics
When it comes to supply chain analytics, employees should understand the difference between predictive and prescriptive analytics as well as different analytics techniques and how they support the supply chain. They should have a good grasp of NLP and natural language generation, ML and AI.
Competency - Culture
Promoting good working culture is vital in modern business. Employees should actively support and promote the learning and development of others through social learning, on-the-job coaching and mentoring. They should be able to communicate the importance of data literacy and invest time in supporting data literacy.
So, what does this all mean for procurement and supply chain businesses and their employees? Our team talks to businesses and candidates every day of the week and we know that they have their share of concerns about how they will adapt to fit the changing landscape. But on the bright side, we also hear many stories of successes; of businesses that embraced the challenges presented by the pandemic and digitalisation and developed new programs and ways of working that meant they could adapt and thrive. We’ve also talked to candidates who identified areas in their skillsets that needed addressing and found the courses or roles that helped them progress.
If you or your business need support with transforming or growing your team, or if you’re a procurement and supply chain professional who needs a new challenge, talk to us today. We can help.
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