Included in our 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains (Available for complimentary downloading in our Supply Chain Matters Research Center), there are two specific predictions that will directly impact various industry supply chain sourcing and procurement professionals in the coming months.

We predict that the role of the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) will continue to evolve in 2017, with an emphasis towards strategic advisor skills.  That will likely include analyzing the impacts to a rapidly changing global supply chain sourcing picture, added supply chain risk factors, and needs for higher levels of joint innovation from suppliers. A challenge for sourcing teams among U.S. based manufacturing, retail, or services firms will be educating senior management on the implications of any potential tariffs, import taxes or trade barriers brought about by the new Trump Administration and a Republican Party dominated U.S. Congress. In prior blog commentaries, we have advised teams to be prepared for a year of continual supply chain analysis and scenario-based planning exercises. We brought reinforcement to messages and advisory actions from strategic consulting firm KPMG and contract manufacturing services provider Flex indicating that planning scenarios are already underway among various industry sectors, all trying to more precisely determine impacts to business margins, product strategies, or existing and future component or finished goods manufacturing strategies.

We declared that one of the most significant challenges in 2017 will be in procurement skills development and filling-in skill gaps as procurement’s role moves deeper toward a strategic advisory role.  Increasingly, a fully integrated strategic sourcing and procurement process will become necessary and that will likely require augmented investments in technology and associated team skills beyond singular procurement business processes. The function will be called upon to broaden collaboration and decision analysis efforts with product management and key global and domestic suppliers.  Initiatives directed toward regulatory compliance changes, ongoing supply chain sustainability initiatives and changing contracted indirect services needs will require teams to increase collaboration efforts with other supply chain and business functions.

This challenge is not confined solely to procurement but across many other manufacturing, supply chain, IT, and product management areas. So much so that we have included Prediction Three- A Supply Chain Talent Perfect Storm within our ten 2017 predictions.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) serves as the principal professional organization for procurement. In March of 2016, we had the opportunity to interview Tom Derry, CEO of ISM.  Regarding the topic of skills development, the following was stated:

The responsibilities and scope of procurement are changing rather rapidly and there is a need to constantly stay current. To be effective, procurement professionals need to understand the broader capabilities of the supply chain such as planning, logistics and transportation. A procurement professional does not necessarily need to be an overall expert, but should be knowledgeable to the needed capabilities and impacts of decisions across the entire supply chain.”ISM2017

In just about two months, ISM will be conducting its annual 2017 conference which will be held May 21-24, 2017 at the Disney Coronado Resort in Orlando Florida.

Featured keynote speakers will include former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.).  The agenda notes that Mr. Cameron promises to deliver a riveting and eye-opening firsthand account of his own experiences during his tenure as Prime Minister, including lead-up to the Brexit decision. That will include his unique perspective on current geopolitical and public policy issues, many of which impact global business and the supply chain. He will further address a range of events in Europe and worldwide, and what they could mean to procurement professionals. General Powell will speak to armed conflict-the ultimate challenge to supply and logistics, as well as the leadership traits included in his recent book: It Worked for me In Life and Leadership.

A total of 73 sessions will be offered based on various skill development levels ranging from fundamental to mastery level. Learning tracts include Economic, Business and Professional segments along with various Experience segments including the very successful Emerging Professionals Experience sessions. This author and supply chain industry analyst had the opportunity to attend last year’s ISM 2016 annual conference and the sessions I sat in were very educational and insightful. Two subsequent prior Supply Chain Matters postings highlighted a fascinating session: What Private Equity Expects from Sourcing Leaders, and highlights of interviews with ISM CEO Dom Derry and others on changing procurement skill needs.

Please consider joining me in attending ISM 2017. The full agenda and registration information for the ISM 2017 Annual Conference can be obtained by clicking on this dedicated ISM 2017 conference web site link or by clicking on the conference logo appearing in our Upcoming Conferences panel to the right.

Supply Chain Matters readers should take note that ISM is currently offering a $400 registration discount if registration is completed by March 30, so consider acting sooner than later.

Bob Ferrari

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