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Improving Procurement’s Position Within The Company

Of course the acceptance of the top management is the first one to come to mind. But for that, you also need to improve your soft skills!

What are some of the good case practices regarding the value creation strategy management? How to ensure that the value creation strategy is sustainable in long term?

Procurement can create value by developing a closer relationship with the business stakeholders. Ultimately, procurement is responsible for driving cost from the bottom line, working in partnership and driving innovative solutions through supplier relationship management ensuring that value created by procurement is sustained.

What are the top priorities that need to happen within procurement function to improve its positioning within the company?

  • Acknowledgment and acceptance from the top management that procurement can be a strategic function
  • Develop people and softer skills
  • Focus on bottom line but also on internal customer service and supply risks management
  • Become an advisor to the business, drive projects that create value and affect the top line as well
  • Not being forgotten!

When it comes to the future of procurement, the influence of technological advances is still increasing.

What will the industry’s technologies look like by 2025? How will they effect operations in sourcing and procurement?

  • Artificial intelligence will drive more automation and take out all transactional work from procurement
  • I am expecting to see a lot more IT solutions that will provide some very accurate reports on trends that will allow procurement to become smarter in predicting price increases, all type of supplier risks and ultimately help procurement become proactive, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by the function

Avnish Patel heads the procurement for Air Products operations in the UK, Ireland, Middle East, and India.  In this role, Avnish has successfully transformed the procurement to a more strategic function and implemented a category structure. In his previous role, Avnish was the procurement strategy lead for a large multimillion project responsible for all capex and site construction spend.
Avnish has held several other procurement positions one of which was to lead the development of a sourcing base in low cost countries such as India, in turn supporting Air Products’ growth strategy. He also developed and led a number of regional/global procurement strategies for heavy engineering equipment. Avnish has an MBA from Cass Business School, FCIPS and holds a bachelor’s Degree in production engineering.

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