These findings were reported in an A.T. Kearney study titled “Procurement Powered Business Performance: Assessment of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) Study 2014.” This year’s AEP is the eighth edition in a series that started in 1992.
“We were surprised that after the gains made between 2008 and 2011, many companies only sustained their improvements over the last three years,” says John Blascovich, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the report. “The typical company may be ‘wasting a crisis’ by not continuing to enhance one of the most powerful levers to improve profitability and competitive advantage.”
The reasons that many companies have not reached the next level of procurement performance include the lack of designated responsibility to take the lead for all major spend categories and explore broader value creation opportunities, weak strategic and organizational links to the rest of the business, and difficulty communicating the function’s return on investment.
Leading procurement organizations have found ways to advance, delivering even greater impact since the 2011 study. Integrating more closely with the business units and regions has increased their relevancy, influence and impact. These organizations have achieved breakthrough financial results from procurement – generating double the Return on Supply Management Assets performance levels compared to the typical company and delivering benefits at a rate 10 times greater than the cost of their people, technology and external support.
Leading companies have achieved this performance by:
• Building high-performance teams as a catalyst for business alignment
• Reducing cost through category excellence
• Creating competitive advantage through supplier capabilities
• Investing in the procurement team to deliver durable superior performance
Stephen Easton, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the report said, “Leading procurement organizations communicate what the function delivers to the company in terms that the business can understand, typically by using finance organization language to measure and share performance data.”
Alex Ferrer, A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions director said, “As procurement excellence helps to generate benefits and have greater business impact, companies will be more inclined to free up funds for innovation, growth and improved shareholder value.”
Source: A.T. Kearney
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