Procurement skills are essential for businesses to thrive in today’s rapidly changing world.

The global business landscape is constantly evolving, and supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. To navigate these challenges successfully, companies need a skilled and adaptable procurement workforce.

This means having the ability to:

  • Identify and source reliable suppliers
  • Negotiate favorable contracts
  • Manage risk
  • Ensure complianceBuild strong relationships with suppliers

Procurement skills are no longer just a valuable asset; they are essential for businesses to remain competitive and succeed in the long term.

A recent survey by Alcott Global highlighted a serious problem plaguing the sector: lack of talent with appropriate skills. The survey found that 50% of senior executives recognize the existence of talent shortages within their supply chain teams. However, the more alarming statistic is that 64% of these leaders identified a lack of appropriate skill sets as their top challenge in attracting new talent.

“While it is in the post-pandemic era that we truly comprehend the immense value of exceptional supply chain executives. The term ‘exceptional’ emphasizes the necessity for individuals who possess not only the fundamental knowledge and skills of supply chain management but also the ability to tackle unprecedented challenges and rapidly changing landscapes.”

This talent shortage is a pressing concern as the supply chain industry faces an increasingly complex landscape driven by technology, sustainability initiatives and changing market conditions. Geopolitical shifts, changes in trade policy, customs regulations and rising inflation also add to the challenges supply chain operators face.

So, how can your company future-proof itself against these challenges? The answer lies in investing in developing the skills of your procurement and supply chain professionals. The Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) offers two courses that can equip your team with the essential skills needed to excel in the ever-changing world of supply chain management.

Expert Procurement Operations Management

What You’ll Gain:

Upon completing the “Expert Procurement Operations Management” course, your team will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to:

  1. Report Purchasing Performance Metrics
    Learn to measure and report on purchasing performance metrics effectively. This capability is crucial for communicating your department’s value to senior management.
  2. Develop a Purchasing Customer Service Survey
    Create surveys that assess customer satisfaction with your procurement services, helping you identify areas for improvement.
  3. Improve Purchasing Staff Productivity
    Discover strategies to enhance the productivity of your purchasing team, optimizing their output.
  4. Establish a Successful Purchasing Advisory Board
    Learn how to establish and utilize a Purchasing Advisory Board to gain valuable insights and guidance.
  5. Prioritize Commodities for Sourcing
    Identify the commodities that your purchasing department should prioritize for sourcing, ensuring cost-effectiveness.
  6. Understand Purchasing Profit Center Models
    Grasp various purchasing profit center models and the associated risks to make informed decisions about your organization’s structure.
  7. Staff Your Purchasing Department Effectively
    Learn how to assemble the right team for your purchasing department and assign buyer responsibilities strategically.
  8. Create a Purchasing Dashboard
    Build a Purchasing Dashboard to monitor key performance indicators and set appropriate departmental goals.
  9. Develop Purchasing Policies and Procedures
    Establish clear purchasing policies and procedures to streamline your department’s operations.
  10. Apply Strategies for Using Templates
    Use templates effectively to improve productivity and reduce common procurement problems.
  11. Make Recommendations to Senior Management
    Implement best practices for making informed recommendations to senior management, demonstrating the value of your department.
  12. Reduce Tactical Purchasing Activity
    Minimize tactical purchasing activities under your management, allowing your team to focus on strategic initiatives.
  13. Improve Compliance with Purchasing Initiatives
    Enhance compliance with purchasing initiatives, ensuring that your organization’s procurement strategies are effectively executed.

Data Analytics for Procurement Professionals

What You’ll Gain:

Upon completing the “Data Analytics for Procurement Professionals” course, your team will have the skills to harness data analytics’ power for procurement excellence. The course will empower your professionals to:

  1. Assess Supplier Pricing Competitiveness
    Develop should-cost models to evaluate the competitiveness of supplier pricing, a critical skill for negotiation.
  2. Create Weighted Average Supplier Scorecards
    Assess all elements of supplier capabilities by creating weighted average supplier scorecards, aiding in supplier selection and evaluation.
  3. Utilize Excel’s Advanced Features
    Leverage Excel’s sophisticated decision support features for procurement analysis, improving data-driven decision-making.
  4. Visualize and Analyze Data
    Learn to visually compare bids, analyze spend, and track supplier performance by creating informative charts.
  5. Master PivotTables and Functions
    Use PivotTables, functions, and subtotals to summarize large amounts of purchasing data efficiently.
  6. Develop Target Pricing Models
    Create target pricing models to inform negotiation strategies and achieve cost savings.
  7. Import and Analyze Data
    Import data from various sources into Excel for comprehensive procurement analysis.
  8. Enhance Spreadsheet Navigation
    Drill down into complex purchasing spreadsheets by using filtering, conditional formatting, VLOOKUP, and more.
  9. Automate Tasks with Macros
    Learn to use macros to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for strategic procurement work.

Equipped with these essential skills, your procurement and supply chain professionals will be better prepared to tackle the challenges posed by evolving supply chain dynamics, technology, and market conditions.

In conclusion, the success of your company’s supply chain operations depends on the quality of your procurement and supply chain professionals. By proactively investing in their skill development through courses like those offered by NLPA, you can future-proof your organization and ensure it remains competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. Don’t wait for talent shortages to hinder your company’s growth; take action now to empower your team with the skills they need to excel.

Visit NLPA Learning, the new home to all of our certifications and online courses. NLPA Learning also includes learning resources, including live and on-demand webinars, publications and reports, articles, templates, white papers, and more!

Become a member of one of the world’s largest procurement associations today.

Recommended Reading:
Recommended Courses:


Published On: October 9th, 2023Comments Off on The Power of Procurement Skills: Building a Resilient Business