The rise of the digital procurement leader

Who should lead digital procurement transformation? The DPW community responded.

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Digital transformation requires digital leadership. The need for an executive responsible for a procurement organization’s digital transformation today may seem obvious. Yet, some procurement organizations still struggle with making a business case for the role of the "Head of Digital Procurement". 

Who should lead digital procurement transformation?

In this blog post, I argue that increasingly, digital procurement strategy and business strategy are indistinguishable which means increasing demands on the digital procurement leader.

But do procurement organisation require a leader who holds the actual Head of Digital Procurement title? Who should lead digital procurement transformation?

Wa asked the community - here is what the said. 👇

I am not sure that I believe it will be up to a single lead. The time of deep collaboration has arrived and the business process owners have to drive the transformation with their IT partners tied to their hip, one data thread at a time...together. Otherwise we will risk bad process that are automated or efficient automated process that connect no where. Neither of these will enable the network of networks and the ecosystem fails.

Laura Bissmeyer
Supply Chain Futurist

The ‘Head of’ suggestion is a good one as this area needs so much more focus and CPOs often struggle to understand what is possible or how to lead this area of development. However, I think it needs to be a slightly wider role which also looks at continuous improvement, optimisation, process refinement, innovation, performance etc. - maybe 60-70% of the role is looking at systems and digitisation of procurement but this is not done in isolation of everything else procurement needs to do to progress.

Richard Sains

While I agree that it needs to be led by procurement and it does need a suitably competent person in the role with the correct skill set, I think the driving force behind it needs to be business objectives! The role has some duality, i.e the person needs a good foundation in business with, ideally, a seat on the board, but also a good 'digital' understanding to be the 'visionary' for the business.

Rizwan Imtiazi
Business Consultant
Tata Consultancy Services

I agree with you on the skills/experience to be the Head of Digital Procurement and would add that person needs to be more than visionary, someone who can execute beyond PPT, will need to have positional authority to influence and make it happen across S2C, P2P, Data and IT. Read full comment

Ganga Siebertz
Head of Digital Procurement
The Coca Cola Company

...procurement is evolving. It’s following digital finance and digital marketing. I can see that CPOs will be looking to engage the skills of procurement digital leaders - CDPOs or “heads of” is the future for procurement. Exciting space as it’s truly on the verge of transitioning into something new. Read full comment

Sheldon Mydat

It has to be led by procurement itself with high focus and resources...and it is a continuous role. The key is also strong collaboration with key stakeholders (e.g. Finance, IT,..) but also external partners (e.g technology providers).

Alejandro Basterrechea
Head of Procurement Excellence

In my opinion the key role of modern CPOs is ensuring sustainable stakeholder management. In order to maximize efficiency of the networks the CPO might be the driver of business transformation. Therefore digital transformation is the catalyst for efficiency and successful collaboration. 

Andreas Wiepck
The Warsteiner Group

I believe the digital procurement transformation has to be led by the CPO for a few reasons:

  1. Operations strategy needs to be aligned with the overall company’s strategy. 
  2. Analytics and digital transformation start with managerial judgment.
  3. Digitalization should be problem-driven and needs to be planned. 

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Vinicius Müller

I agree. This role was traditionally held out as services, methods, standards and tools, but tech and demands are changing at such a rate that this role needs formal instantatiation. 

Bob Booth
Senior Partner Global Business Services

Matthias Gutzmann

Founder, DPW

I founded DPW to focus on bringing emerging technologies and new ways of working into the procurement industry. 

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