German industrial companies adopt procurement without strategy

February 23, 2016 | News Germany

However, eight out of ten industrial companies admit to having a procurement strategy. But in practice, they do not implement these actively enough. In many companies, day-to-day business dominates everyday procurement. Strategic tasks are inadequate and given little priority by companies. Only one in five or one in six procurement employees adopt a strategic position. This shows the study by consultancy firm Staufen AG. 112 German industrial firms from various industries were surveyed.  “Although the procurement of products and services is becoming an increasingly important lever for efficient business, strategic considerations seldom play a role in procurement,” says Christian Riedl, Senior Manager of consultancy firm Staufen AG. “Procurement employees continue to serve purely as processors, and therefore exclusively in operations, as our study confirms.” Moreover, procurement is still all too often a management issue. In almost every second company, the procurement department reports to the finance or production manager. “Consequently, there is a risk that strategic considerations regarding procurement are not given sufficient attention, because the aims of each management area are the focus,” warns Staufen’s procurement expert, Riedl. “In industry procurement is already of central importance. The tasks involved here are often complex and customer requirements vary widely. Inefficiencies thus have a particular effect.” Despite the backlog, the study also shows one thing: The size of the company has no effect on the quality of the procurement department. “These findings should bolster small firms, as they can activate the procurement turbo just as effectively as large firms in order to improve their international competitiveness,” says Staufen consultant Riedl. 

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