STUDY: IBM release comprehensive procurement results

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Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.IBM has announced the results of a new study that finds top performing procurement organisations are expan...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.

IBM has announced the results of a new study that finds top performing procurement organisations are expanding their purview to drive company-wide innovation and top line growth. This is as opposed to confining themselves to their traditional roles as the gatekeepers of corporate spending.


According to the study, top procurement organisations are nearly twice as likely to introduce new innovations into the company and 1.5 times more likely to have influenced senior leadership to enter a new market than their lower performing counterparts.

Conducted by the IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV), the Chief Procurement Officer Study reveals how Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) are actively reshaping their roles in the leadership suite to provide a positive impact on the growth and maturation of their company.

Over 1,000 senior procurement leaders from $1 billion-plus companies in 41 countries contributed to the study – one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.

While the last CPO study reflected the desire of procurement organisations to gain influence in the c-suite and the connection between procurement performance and enterprise value, this year’s study goes one step deeper by focusing on how top CPOs are actively reshaping their responsibilities beyond cost control processes and into a higher level of strategic advising. These top CPOs are driving enterprise agendas through three common initiatives:

  1. Focusing on the broader goals of the company, not just the procurement function

    Top procurement companies are setting their sights beyond mastering the procurement basics and towards driving the vision of the enterprise at large. For example, the study found that top CPOs are nearly twice as likely to focus on driving revenue growth and competitive advantage rather than their lower performing counterparts.


  1. Serving as a conduit for innovation from strategic partners

    When it comes to working with partners, customers and suppliers, top procurement organisations go beyond the tactical aspects of transaction support. The study showed that 92 percent of high performing procurement officers feel they can add value to external stakeholder relationships as opposed to 68 percent of underperformers.

    To that end, 52 percent of high performing CPOs have leveraged suppliers to co-develop new technologies for the business versus 39 percent of lower performing CPOs. Top procurement organisations strive to engage with internal stakeholders as well as understand the needs of the end customers to gain a full picture of the business ecosystem.


  1. Embracing advanced technology to drive higher value results

    High performing procurement firms are deploying advanced data-driven tools to make more informed procurement decisions. For example, 41 percent of top CPOs have integrated advanced analytics capabilities into their procurement organization compared to just 16 percent of lower performing CPOs. These top CPOs are also more focused on social collaboration, talent development and automating basic processes as a means to help advance the procurement function.

Terrence Curley, Director of Strategic Supply Management at IBM, said “The most advanced CPOs are proving that focusing on the nuts and bolts of procurement processes is not enough to bring real value to the business.

“True procurement leaders who see the bigger picture can use their unique vantage point in the organisation to drive innovation, grow revenues and expand competitive advantage. The results of this study can serve as a road map for all CPOs to follow who want to provide a real impact on the future of their company.”

To access the full results of the study, listen to the webinar and download an IBM infographic, visit


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