Wax Digital reveal secrets to a career in Procurement
By Wax Digital
Research undertaken to understand the typical career path of a FTSE 350 chief procurement officer (CPO) has revealed a breed of dynamic career climbers who reach the heights of CPO or head of procurement as young as 35 and on average by the age of 42.
The oldest to reach director level in the sample was 53 on getting the role, while the average age of all the FTSE 350 CPOs surveyed is just 46, all of which compares very favourably to the Telegraph’s Executive Pay Report which puts the average age of a FTSE 350 director across all functions at 58.
The research conducted by procurement software specialist Wax Digital by telephone interview and LinkedIn profile analysis targeted 138 CPOs across 100 FTSE 350 companies. It also found that CPOs on their way to the FTSE 350 are have spent an average of just 3 years in each of their previous jobs, suggesting that the traditional image of procurement people in the same role and organisation for many years is a thing of the past.
Interestingly, while almost half of CPOs (43%) have switched industry sectors to get their current job, only 2% came from the public sector, or had worked in it at any time in the past.
Procurement has become a fashionable career path in the current economy according to REED whose Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Guide showed a growing number of CPOs, more board appointments and salaries as high as £220,000.
The research also points to CPOs being well connected and utilising LinkedIn to cement those connections. The CPOs in the sample have on average 338 LinkedIn connections, whilst more than a quarter of them (26%) have over 500 connections.
Commenting on these findings Daniel Ball, business development director at Wax Digital, said: “We’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside many of the UK’s leading procurement professionals in the last 12 years, sharing in their journeys to procurement excellence. Since we tend to engage with the most dynamic, forward-thinking agents of change that are looking to revolutionise procurement processes, we thought it would be really interesting to see what common traits we could uncover, starting with CPOs in the FTSE 350.
“The results have proved fascinating, but it comes as no surprise to us that procurement professionals are making their mark earlier and more confidently than ever, heading to the top younger and faster than directors in other areas of these businesses.”
Other key findings from the research showed that the male CPOs outnumber females by 4:1. Also almost half (45%) reveal education to degree level, and only a small proportion of CPOs include further qualifications and accreditations such as CIPs (14%) or an MBA (14%) in their social profiles. We suspect there may be some overlap here, but this finding suggests that procurement professionals are a modest bunch and don’t feel the need to share their qualifications on LinkedIn.
Wax Digital web3 powers sourcing and spend management for a wide range of organisations including Weetabix, Nissan, Virgin Active and the NHS.
About Wax Digital
Wax Digital is Europe's leading provider of on-demand purchase-to-pay and eSourcing solutions. For more information, visit www.waxdigital.com
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”