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Procurement 'becoming crucial to business strategy'
Companies across the world are viewing procurement as an increasingly key element of their operational plans, according to a new report.
A survey of 263 senior finance executives in North America, Europe and Asia conducted by CFO Research Services and Ariba revealed that nearly 75 per cent of companies' procurement functions have become more strategically focused than was the case three years ago.
In the past, finance executives simply regarded procurement as a means of obtaining goods and services at the cheapest possible price, with progress measured solely by the ability to minimise spending.
By contrast, firms are now looking to work closely with suppliers to set shared strategies and align management styles, while analytical and problem-solving skills are becoming more vital.
Paul Janicki, chief financial officer of carbohydrate products manufacturer Roquette America, said: "Procurement has become more strategic; it's now no longer just the means to do business, but also an area of optimisation."
Earlier this month, a report from the Forum of Private Business and Buying Support Agency suggested that a collaborative approach to procurement could help smaller firms become more competitive.
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