Having a dedicated procurement professional has always been indispensable for businesses. But with the acceleration of digital transformation and the consequent automation of processes, buyers are no longer mere operational assistants – and have achieved prominence, time and intelligence to carry out more strategic functions within such businesses.

The pandemic has been another factor that highlighted their important role. The health and economic crises impacted the supply chain, thus emphasizing the need for buyers prepared to keep both the continuity and efficiency of operations in businesses.

Technology as a great partner of buyers

The procurement professionals of the future must have technology as their key partner, and never see it as a threat. To stand out in this market, professionals must be analytical, work with performance indicators and make increasingly assertive decisions.

Faced with this new scenario, knowing how to deploy and use technologies is vital for those professionals who want to keep pace with the market.

Digital resources bring benefits, such as cost reduction, agility in procurement, compliance and governance processes, standardization of flows, more organized and available information, reduction of the bureaucratic burden and collaboration with the supply chain.

These technological advantages orient the buyers to what really matters in procurement: critical analysis and ongoing search for the best scenario in a negotiation.

Many companies will soon have a technology ecosystem, which will allow the procurement area to manage all fronts of the supply chain – in a clear, fast and very data-driven way. Therefore, whoever is averse to technology will be left behind.

Soft skills and relationship with suppliers

Non-technical skills, also called soft skills, are gaining relevance in the career of procurement professionals. Communication, self-reliance, collaboration and flexibility are just some of the skills that must support the new era of this function.

Having a good relationship with the supply chain, to achieve sustainable and solid partnerships, both in normal situations and times of crisis, requires time and dedication.

It’s worth mentioning here the importance of risk management processes (planned or not), and a broad view of the partnership level with each supplier.

It’s also important to keep a certified and evaluated supplier base, in order to mitigate risks that can impair the company’s results – such as shortages, and tax and labor co-responsibility, among other factors that can impact the organization’s reputation and image.

Proactivity and knowledge of the actuation areas of procurement professionals are necessary skills, as this can help them in the development of new suppliers, and in the alignment of different projects with the needs and strategies of the company.

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