Only six per cent of CPOs possess the strategic leadership trait of being able to lead digital and analytical transformation in their organisation. What’s going on with the skill gap?
It seems that everyone’s talking about digital transformation. Every procurement team globally lies somewhere on the maturity curve that begins at one end with 1990s-style manual processes, to world-beating teams who are embracing tech enablers such as predictive analytics and cognitive technology. Procurement publications (including this one) are writing article after article about the wave of exciting new technology coming down the Industry 4.0 pipeline, while the profession’s biggest conferences always have digital transformation experts high on the agenda.
Key findings in Deloitte’s 2018 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey, however, suggest that digital transformation isn’t as high as priority for CPOs as we might think. When just over 500 procurement leaders across 39 countries were asked to identify the most common leadership traits in procurement, they listed:
- acting as a role model – 23 per cent
- collaborating internally and externally to deliver value – 20 per cent
- delivering results – 14 per cent
Yet, as the report points out, strategic leadership traits are not widely evident:
- positive disruption – 5 per cent
- leading digital and analytical transformation – 6 per cent
- innovation – 8 per cent
Similarly, modern technology usage is low, with only one-third of those surveyed using technologies such as predictive analytics and collaboration networks. Only one-third of procurement leaders believe that their digital procurement strategy will enable them to deliver on their objectives and value, even though analytics was nominated as the single factor that will have the most impact on procurement in the next two years.
The authors call out these disappointing results twice in the report:
“Progress and adoption has been slow over the past year and the survey findings show that procurement leaders remain hesitant about investigating new digital tools and technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain.”
“Despite recognising digital technologies, their impact and imminent uses, few organisations appear to be progressing at the rate that their c-suite executives consider necessary for achieving overall goals. Indeed, in the majority of areas, the level of impact has declined and the forecast application of new technologies is low … The level and speed of digitalisation across procurement functions is lower than expected and needed.”
So, what’s going on? The answer might be found within the report itself, across the following three areas:
- CPOs don’t know where to begin
The main barriers to the effective application of digital technology identified in the report include a lack of data integration (46 per cent), quality of data (45 per cent) and a limited understand of data technology (27 per cent). This suggests that one of the reasons for the disappointing adoption of technology is that CPOs are still coming to terms with the overwhelming task of getting their house (their data) in order before they can effectively roll out a tech enabler such as cognitive procurement.
- CPOs are losing faith in their digital strategy
Deloitte found that only 4 per cent of procurement leaders believe that procurement has a big influence in delivering their organisation’s overall digital strategy. Only 6 per cent believe their digital strategy will help them to fully deliver on their objectives and improve enterprise value, while only 18 per cent have a digital procurement strategy supported by a complete business case. The trend in the report appears to be that procurement leaders are struggling to understand the impact of digital technology. One of the stand-out pieces of commentary in the report contains the following:
“Applying digital technologies to the procurement function will enable strategic sourcing to become more predictive, transactional procurement to become more automated, supplier management to become more proactive, and procurement operations to become more intelligent.”
3. CPOs are not investing in digital capability
Remember last year’s report? The main callout in 2017 was that 60 per cent of CPOs didn’t believe their teams had sufficient capabilities to deliver on their procurement strategy. This figure has improved slightly and now sits at 51 per cent, yet digital skills still remain a red flag. The report found that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said that their procurement teams possess little or no capability to maximise the use of current and future digital technologies, but only 16 per cent of procurement leaders are focusing on enhancing the digital skills of their teams. Overall, 72 per cent of CPOs are spending less than 2 per cent of their operating budgets on training and development programs for their teams.
Download the full report here: https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/operations/articles/cpo-survey.html
In other news this week:
Procurious celebrates International Women’s Day – Get Involved!
- Women account for just 20-35 per cent of procurement association memberships, represent just 30 per cent of procurement conference attendees and 20 per cent of speakers, and earn up to 31 per cent less than their male counterparts
- To address this disparity, we founded Bravo, a Procurious group that celebrates and promotes the contributions of women in procurement last year
- Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018 Procurious are running a new campaign, “A Wise Woman Once Told Me…”. We want procurement pros across the globe to take part and finish that sentence. Write the best advice you’ve been given by a woman, be it a colleague, mentor, friend or family member and share your advice on both Twitter (Tagging @Procurious_ and #Bravoprocurement) and in the Bravo group on Procurious
- We’ll be amplifying all of your great advice to the global procurement community and, to encourage more procurement pros to join Bravo Movement, we’ll donate £1 to Action Aid for every person that joins Bravo before 10th March 2018
Contact Laura Ross via [email protected] to request your “A Wise Woman Once Told Me…” digital kit.
Trump announces steel and aluminium tariffs
- President Trump has announced a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent tariff on imported aluminium.
- The tariffs are designed to punish China for what the White House has described as unfair trade practices, while reducing blue-collar job losses and wage stagnation.
- U.S. steel production has fallen from 100 million to 82 million metric tonnes over the past decade, with imports increasing in consequence.
Read more: Reuters