Procurement and People: a recent WTF moment!

by Bertrand Maltaverne

Sometimes, you have a “WTF” moment. It’s when you see something that you cannot explain, and that seems totally not rational / not logic. And, let’s say it, stupid!

I had such a moment yesterday when I read this article on Supply Management: “Skills gap widening say CPOs.”

The WTF moment is not related to the article itself but to what is behind the article, that is what happens in many Procurement organizations (the article refers to a survey of 300+ CPOs done by Deloitte).

Here you go. Let’s look at some of the key points of the article.

Point 1: approx. 50% of CPOs say it’s hard to attract talent.
My comment: OK. No big surprise, this was also a challenge at my former employer (I belonged to the Procurement org.).
Point 2: almost 50% of CPOs say that the job requires new skillset. In the article, the focus is on risk management: “Risk and the widening skills gap are clearly a concern for CPOs.”
My comment: agreed! Procurement (and many other functions) are going through constant changes. So, skills needed yesterday, today, and tomorrow are different. I have highlighted that in several previous Medium posts, including that one:

And here comes the WTF moment!

“One-third said their training budgets were now less than 1% of total spending budgets.”


Most challenges and issues described by CPOs are people related. But, the investment in people (training is one of the components of that), is not sufficient: “Deloitte said this was a quarter of what might be considered best practice.

And, worse, it is decreasing over time!


It is crucial that CPOs (and all other CxOs) understand that people come first and that investing in technology is not the magic solution!

“70% are investing in self-service solutions and spending on mobile, cloud and social media is also increasing.”

A “global” approach is required!

With the right focus:

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