Top 10: Procurement Skills Every Leader Needs

Procurement Magazine Takes a Look at 10 of the top Procurement Skills Every Leader in the Industry Needs to Drive Success

As the demand for procurement professionals increases due to the rise in recognition of its strategic importance, so too does the need for strategic procurement skills, and the ability to align the function with the overall business needs. 

With this in mind, Procurement Magazine takes a look at some of the trending skills procurement leaders are looking for among their teams… 


Starting with the basics, negotiations remain a fundamental skill to have in the procurement industry. It is key to successful purchasing and supplying that is both profitable and cost-effective for all parties. 


Another important fundamental to successful procurement is communication. With high-quality communication between stakeholders and external suppliers, organisations can benefit from greater visibility, transparency and creativity in their operations. 


In the modern world, data is key, and so is the ability to analyse data. Having the skills to analyse data is vital to maintain a competitive advantage in procurement due to its ability to improve more strategic decision-making, improve supplier performance, reduce cost and risk, increase compliance, and drive ESG initiatives.

Strategic Thinking

Having the skill to align procurement strategies with the overall business needs is integral to successful modern procurement and supply chain functions. Such approaches are vital to navigating the complexities of the function to increase cost savings, efficiency and innovation, as well as improve market and supplier intelligence, compliance and supplier relationships. 

Risk Management

Having the skills to identify, assess and mitigate risks in procurement is another core skill to navigate the complexities of the function. With effective management of risk, organisations can reduce supplier risk, predict future and potential risks, improve supplier selection, and better manage contracts and supplier relationships. 

Market Knowledge

Similar to negotiations and communication, market knowledge is fundamental in any procurement function. Having awareness of market conditions, industry trends, and knowledge of supplier landscapes helps any procurement professional make informed decisions.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

The practice of regularly and proactively reviewing suppliers and their key performance indicators (KPIs), supplier relationship management (SRM) skills helps to drive efficiency in procurement and the wider supply chain. Effective SRM can improve cost management, streamline operational efficiency, consolidate the supply chain, and build stronger supplier relationships.

Contract Management

As the procurement function continues to grow in complexity, it will be important for professionals to keep on top of contract management. In doing so organisations can improve compliance, better monitor performance, and reduce risks. 

Ethical Sourcing

With the spotlight continuing to shine on the importance of ethics and sustainability within business operations, ethical sourcing is at the forefront of procurement professionals. Beyond morality, the benefits of ethical sourcing include a protected reputation, maintaining sales, improved employee morale, compliance, protection against risks, and improved communication. 


It is no secret that the procurement and supply chain industry is complex and volatile, being adaptable to disruptions is vital to maintain a competitive advantage and weather the storms.


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