During the Q&A session at the end of our recent Real World Procurement Series webinar, ‘The Universe of Modern Procurement’, the audience asked some great questions. The session was led by Craig Lardner FCIPS, former CPO and 2014 President of CIPS.

His presentation took us through the 50 elements of the Modern Procurement Universe, a best practice operating model addressing all core end-to-end procurement related activities. Despite the scope of the webinar, he managed to succinctly cover communications, technology enablement, skills and competencies.

The model outlines the foundational elements of transactional support and reporting and then steps up through compliance management, sourcing management, contract management, supplier management, internal customer management, and category management. In the final layers, he explores governance and strategy. Throughout, he explains the interrelated nature of elements that are transactional, tactical and strategic, required to equip the modern procurement professional.

While Craig didn’t have time during the webinar to give all questions from the audience a response, he generously offered to reply to any unanswered questions post-webinar.

So, with thanks to Craig Lardner, here are his responses to those unanswered questions:

  1. How do you differentiate procurement and supply chain?

Use the 2 definitions that appear early in the slides. The ‘5 rights’ also help. (Also in the slide pack.)

  1. How can we better balance the drive for supply base optimisation with maintaining a diverse and competitive supplier base?

Supply base optimisation is not just single-sourcing. Having a portfolio of suppliers can optimise your supply solution and create competitiveness as well.

  1. Most procurement job descriptions are so general as if they need one person to perform all of the functions. What is the best way to change this mentality within organisations? (What’s the best way to introduce the importance of each role within the procurement department?)

Make the job description role components very specific. Include the deliverables and the dependencies on each component. And, create a measure (KPI) for each deliverable.

  1. What is a simple way for me to evaluate our team’s capability (and my own) on each of the 50 elements in the modern procurement universe?

As a first cut ‘starter’, use the ‘3 questions 2 blocks’ Self Assessment Gap Analysis in the slide pack.

  1. Why is the procurement profession not licensed and regulated like the engineering profession?

To date we haven’t pursued it. CIPS is now on the case and preparing the journey.

And, here is a summary of a question that was answered during the Q&A:

  1. How can you transform procurement functions from tactical to strategic?

If you want to move from being transactional and tactical and have better balance, with strategic content,  then you’ve got to look at your board’s goals. Then ask yourself, what can we do in procurement to ensure that some of those board goals have a better chance of success? If you can articulate your tasks so that they clearly line up with board goals, you have taken a massive step toward appearing strategic.

Next, you need to take it from appearing strategic to being strategic. If you want to be so, then you need skills in that area. There are very effective training initiatives that you and the team can take to get you there.


Like to access the slides and listen to the recorded webinar and the full Q&A session?
You can access the webinar and slides here >>