Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills

Under mounting global pressures, procurement has stepped into the arena of critical players. Here's our list of top 10 procurement skills & competencies

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Risk Management

Risk in procurement is unpredictable and can have a devastating effect on a company’s success unless managed in the right way. With the current uncertainties caused by rising prices, geopolitical conflict and climate change, procurement professionals have a lot of risks to manage.

To do that effectively, highly skilled and experienced teams must be on board to help businesses continue to flourish amidst uncertain circumstances.

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling financial, legal, strategic and security risks to an organisation’s capital and earnings.

These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters.

Managing risk is the key to softening the blow of endless variables, and adapting the procurement organisations to change. 

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:


Sustainability is now key to both organisational operations as a whole, and procurement as a function.

The rise of new compliance systems means that companies that are not abiding by sustainability criteria are being shelved in favour of those who comply.

The changing face of consumer demographics also means that there is a rising demand to interact with companies who have sustainability baked into their operations.

Apart from this, there is also the greater good picture that means that companies that are serious about sustainability will be contributing to having a positive impact on ecologies and people, and competition of the future will include protecting people and planet. 

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Data analysis

Any organisation labouring under the delusion that they can outsource all of their work to robots and computers will be in for a rude awakening.

Although there is a major push towards AI and ML ion organisation thought the globe, to make sense of the data requires data analysis - that is human, data analysis.

Data analysts are a key part of procurement since in the end, it is they who will interpret the data to bring about actionable changes in the organisations plans and operations.

Develop your inner data analyst to be effective in procurement. 

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:


Research skills enable purchasing managers to gain market information, costs and risk management assessments.

Purchasing managers may also assess the benefits and disadvantages of purchases, typically to help predict probable future outcomes and ways to improve capital.

They may also manage the research of new suppliers or companies before making purchasing decisions on new materials

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Relationship Management

This is a strategic skill required in procurement professionals to maintain an ongoing relationship with an organisation’s customers and partners.

Relationship management is becoming evermore crucial to procurement functions, especially under the trying times that we find ourselves in.

Whether it is B2B or B2C, an expert relationship manager fulfills customer expectation and builds loyalty.

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills are indispensable for a successful procurement function.

They are also integral to relationship management, day-to-day formal and informal interactions and for deal negotiation with savings and strategic advancement in mind.

They have also become important in building supplier relationships and must not be overlooked for the procurement function. 

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Financial Acumen

Businesses thrive on their financial standing. You can have every management skill, but if you are not keen on financial evaluation, you may fail the interview.

Financial aptitude is an orientation. Based on that, an interviewer might judge your skills on metrics and reports and how you’ll strategize a fair business road-map.

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Analytical Skills

Analysis is a skill which procurement needs from data to market research to supplier contracts and beyond.

It is also required in your everyday transactions. A subject matter expert with analytical skills always has the edge over those that don't.

Look for employees with analytical skills for, after all, procurement is a complicated function operating in a complex environment.

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Technology Aptitude

Talk about technology, and there are a plethora of new-age solutions that are simplifying business, mainly the procurement function.

Understanding of digital technology comprising Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Cryptocurrency, etc., is essential.

Modern procurement involves hands-on-experience of all the above-mentioned technologies.

Top 10 Procurement competencies and skills:

Results Orientation

We all have our standards of excellence, but for procurement professionals, it is imperative that they benchmark against industry standards.

The ability and drive to achieve and surpass targets against the norm, raise your strategic positioning to a leader's role.

Focusing on results will also mean procurement functions that are not distracted by the white noise of futile tasks, and will enable a big-picture view of procurement objectives.

Drive towards result rather than unnecessary considerations, and shape your procure functions and processes accordingly. 


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