Starting a new year is always a good opportunity to look at what’s next and which challenges we’ll have to tackle. I give it a chance and set my list of what will probably be the focus of procurement this year.
One trend of this early 2015 that will have a major impact on procurement operations is without any doubt the drop off of oil prices. This is a pretty good news on a cost point of view.
The impact will occur in many areas of procurement, obviously energy at first hand but also all those raw materials that prices are directly related to oil index (plastic of course), and logistics and transport.
But reviewing prices is not the only impact procurement will have to manage. Together with this market turn will arise some topics procurement manager should think of : evolution of transport capacity (it may go down), or the management of supply-chain models and some company policies (travel, company car) so that volumes/origin of purchases do not off-set the oil price decrease.
Another major trend that for sure will be key for this year is the Eur / USD parity, followed by an equivalent trend for Eur / Cny parity.
So far Euro is still on a decreasing trend and the impact has obviously to be managed for all companies buying in Euros. Accurate tools/processes to forecast financial impacts are highly recommendable of course as well as adapting purchasing strategies and actions plans to contain it.
I would also like to point out the necessary contribution of procurement to Top Line development. In our complex european economic situation, procurement has to continue its work to have growing suppliers strategic partnership. The aim is to bring in ideas, projects that will help to increase the business of the companies. Procurement has still a key role to take here, in 2015 more than ever.
Finally, there is a trend that the author of the blog http://procurementstories.com/ developed and that I fully share: greater and better management of Big data. There is a whole lot of information laying in all the systems of the companies that we, as procurement managers, do not benefit from. Most of the time, this is due to a lack of tools to do so.
I do agree with the author that 2015 will probably see a movement from procurement department to implement projects so that there are able to gather, analyse these datas (financial, inventory, price trends…etc) and to up-date accordingly their strategic plans.
I’m looking forward to seeing at the end of the year if those thoughts were accurate.
Until then your comments are welcome, good luck and happy new year.