A new survey from procurement and supply chain networking company Procurious suggests that procurement professionals’ jobs remain largely tactical, despite expectations for the field to evolve into a more strategic component of the enterprise.
The Procurious blog highlighted a new survey of 590 procurement and supply chain professionals in an effort to examine how the industry will evolve in the coming decades. The majority of those professionals agreed that the procurement field will shift into a part of the organization that is more strategic: 51 percent said procurement teams will become “an agile group of strategic advisors,” while 24 percent predict it will become “an influential group of commercial leaders” by 2030.
Only 9 percent predict that procurement will be entirely automated, suggesting that even while technology continues to penetrate and automate many procurement functions, human experts will take on an elevated position for their firms.
Yet according to Procurious research, significant portions of procurement professionals’ roles remain largely tactical, not strategic. For junior-level professionals, 59 percent of their workload was categorized as tactical, with analytics and supply chain professionals seeing the greatest portion of their roles as tactical in nature.
Even upper-level executives are largely tactical: 57 percent of chief procurement officers surveyed said 40 percent of their workload, on average, is tactical, despite identifying their roles as highly strategic.
A tactical-heavy role may be at risk of being replaced by automation technology and robots. Yet only 3 percent of procurement professionals surveyed said they believe their roles will be entirely outsourced, and optimism about the future of their professionals has reached new highs.
“Procurement professionals remain optimistic about the profession, despite the rapid development of ever-smarter AI and media coverage of white-collar job losses to automation,” Procurious said in its blog post.
Analysts noted that technological advancements present the greatest opportunity for procurement. Conversely, not keeping pace with technological advances represents the market’s biggest threat.