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CPOs concerned about 'lack of talent and technology issues'

Dec 19
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CPOs concerned about 'lack of talent and technology...

Chief procurement officers (CPOs) are worried about a lack of available talent, technology issues and geopolitical risks, according to a new survey.

Deloitte's fourth annual CPO Survey revealed that more than half (57 per cent) of respondents believe that their teams don't have the skills to deliver procurement strategies, the same number currently have issues with systems and technologies and one in four fear geopolitical risks.

According to the poll, the skills found to be most lacking include leadership, influence, communication and relationship building. Despite the demand for speed, greater efficiencies and new skills sets, 49 per cent of respondents feel that the market for talent has become further constricted in the past 12 months.

Over half (53 per cent) of respondents described having concerns that existing procurement systems are difficult to use, which could cause potential frustration.

James Gregson, UK head of sourcing and procurement at Deloitte, explains: "With 81 per citing improved financial prospects for their businesses, CPOs are now turning their attention towards corporate growth.

"It is clear that a new approach to recruiting talent and developing skills is needed, supported by advancements in procurement technology. This will allow organisations to better manage scale and complexity.”

The survey revealed that CPO's perception towards risk is shifting, with a quarter now concerned about geopolitical uncertainty - three times more than the figure recorded in 2013's poll.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, explained that this fear of issues happening elsewhere in the world mirrors the sentiment of other c-level executives and as a result, supply chain risk has increased for 43 per cent of procurement leaders, ranging from retailers who cannot ship products to stories in previously stable locations to energy firms grappling with sanctions.

In the UK, CPOs are particularly worried about risks relating to information security, with 40 per cent expressing concerns, versus the international average of 28 per cent.  

On a positive note, almost one-third (28 per cent) of respondents perceive themselves to be highly regarded strategic business partners compared to the rest of the staff that work in their organisations.

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