Procurement functions are not adequately staffed to successfully execute their transformation goals and do not operate on a strategic level within their respective organizations, according to a survey of more than 310 procurement professionals.
More than one-third (36 percent) of procurement professionals reported that their companies were behind schedule in their transformation goals, according to the survey, which was organized by Worldwide Business Research’s ProcureCon Indirect East (PIE) conference with partner Beeline, a software developer for sourcing and managing the flexible workforce.
The report, created by WBR Digital’s research team, also included responses that revealed the level of involvement in strategic planning efforts, perceptions and concerns about workforce management, and overall satisfaction with management culture in procurement teams.
According to the research from PIE, federal agencies are also not adequately delivering on the transition goals put forth by their organizations.
"These findings should serve as an important warning about the long-term success of procurement functions, the consequences of not aligning strategic initiatives to cut costs with organizational goals and risks procurement’s ability to deliver cost savings and value creation," the report said.
In addition, 36 percent of respondents reported that their efforts to transition from tactical to strategic processes are behind schedule, and 43 percent of respondents have been operating their systems for less than a year.
Meanwhile, more than half (56 percent) of procurement executives reported that their procurement teams were not properly staffed, and the same number of respondents reported that their procurement teams are comprised of 26 people or more.
"Properly staffed does not necessarily mean just having the appropriate quantity of people," Barbara Smith, enterprise labor services purchasing manager at Xerox, said in a statement. "It also means having the right people in the right positions with the right skill set. Reliance is on the type of interaction required (e.g., strategic sourcing vs. transactional processing) and the volume, mix and complexity of the purchasing activity."
According to the survey, 79 percent of companies reported that procurement teams manage contingent and outsourced labor programs while 21 percent said that this function sits within another department or changes depending on the project.
"C Level support is key but it’s also important to have buy-in from the business units you support," Michelle Routhier, program manager for procurement services at Microsoft, said in the report. "To be able to understand their needs as well as having clearly deﬁned goals, supporting analytics and an engaged supply base will ensure greater adoption and success."