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The Soft Skills needed for Procurement in 2021

“To thrive today, organisations must develop employees’ soft skills.” (Marisa Brown) The pandemic co...

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Posted by Dave Food on Jun 22, 2021 5:10:19 PM
Dave Food

“To thrive today, organisations must develop employees’ soft skills.” (Marisa Brown)

The pandemic conducted organisations to focus on central Procurement responsibilities. After a challenging year devoted to demonstrating their staff’s importance, CPOs now have a point to state regarding business-essential decision-making. But preserving that call is, by all means, a significant challenge. As a result, procurement leaders have set their 2021 priorities with this ambiguity in mind.

Organisations priorities keep changing responding to the circumstances. For example, Supply Chain (SC) leaders nowadays are projecting for the near future and beyond after a year of disruptions.  Whilst in 2020, standardising procedures, automation and digitisation were at the top, recent surveys reveal leader’s top priority for 2021 in Procurement and sourcing.

Tackling tail spend

For several companies, extra spend management has never been a priority. And that is comprehensible when you are dealing with broader issues such as a pandemic. 

By 2021, businesses are putting enormous weight on developing sustainable sourcing to reducing suppliers’ costs, enhance suppliers’ relationships and collaboration. All of these areas demand Procurement and sourcing staff count thoroughly on the proper Soft Skills.

The Procurement and Sourcing Soft Skills to develop in 2021:

  • Focus on sustainable sourcing.
  • Implement methods to trim down supplier’s costs.
  • Identify and implement best practices.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Result-oriented.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Standardise processes.
  • Improve collaboration and communication.
  • Analytical and presentation skills.
  • Teams must work with key suppliers to identify mutually beneficial goals. 
  • They must also be competent to get better communication with suppliers and internal groups too. 
  • Collaborating for strategic objectives empowers staff to take on more complex tasks.

Discovering individuals who already count on these skills is challenging. Leaders must take the necessary steps to boost these kinds of skills among their existing talent.  They should get out of the box of traditional classroom and online training programs to give rise to mentoring opportunities that integrate those more-skilful co-workers or seniors plus more opportunities of on-the-job experiences and the chance of adding fresh ideas from those just coming aboard. 

Developing internal skills will empower organisations to go in for their `priority’ in 2021 and in the years to come.

·       Vendor/Supplier relationship Management 31%

·       Purchasing 29%

·       Procure-to-pay 25%

·       Automation and digitalisation 22%

·       Sustainable sourcing 22%

Employees must be able to work with key suppliers to identify mutually beneficial goals.  They must also improve communication with both suppliers and internal groups.  Working toward strategic goals enables employees to take on more complex tasks such as pursuing sustainable sourcing.

Finding employees that already possess these skills is challenging. Therefore, organisations must take steps to develop these Soft Skills in their existing talent, with out-of-the-box thinking to include on-the-job experience and creating mentor opportunities with more experienced staff.

Conclusions: building internal capabilities will enable an organisation to pursue its priorities not only in 2021 but furthermore in the years to come.

Are your staff’s  Soft Skills in place to benefit your Procurement priorities?



Prophetic Technology

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