As procurement becomes more digital, data-driven, and strategically important, it’s increasingly clear that organizations need a new breed of procurement professional. Tomorrow’s procurement professionals need to be equally fluent in technology, data, and relationship building. They must be able to zoom in to analyze processes and data points, and then zoom out to deliver strategic insights and collaborate with suppliers. Some of today’s professionals will need to bone up on their job-specific skills, but most will need to add new tools like business acumen, interpersonal skills, and deep work (the ability to focus without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks) to their toolkits.
Leading organizations know that the time to close the procurement skills gap is now. To assess how well organizations are developing employees and evaluate the current state of investment in procurement talent in 2019, APQC collected responses from 204 global procurement professionals. As this article shows, the results indicate that while most organizations still rely on traditional talent development practices, the most effective organizations use innovative approaches to build the procurement skills of tomorrow.