Posted on the Determine blog on May 3, 2018

Face it sourcing, CPOs just aren’t that into you.

Last week, the team from Ardent Partners shared the results of their research: CPO Rising 2018: The Age of Intelligence in a webinar with Determine. This year’s report includes input from 324 participants, 62% of which are Director level, VP level, or C-level. No one industry accounted for more than 13% of the research data, although approximately 70% of the responses were from large (>$1B) companies in North America.

Of all the insights drawn from this initial look at the research results, one stands out to me as particularly compelling: sourcing is being de-emphasized as a spend management strategy.

Falling from #1 in 2009, to #7 in 2014, to #11 this year, the trend is impossible to ignore. This doesn’t mean that sourcing isn’t still being applied to a significant portion of addressable spend; the percentage of spend brought under management using strategic sourcing actually hasn’t changed that much from 2009, falling from 65.7% to 55.8% to 46.9% respectively in the same years as listed above. The difference is that as of 2018, sourcing is no longer a top 10 strategy for leading CPOs.

There are multiple implications of this shift, and while it has been coming on gradually but steadily for almost a decade, some procurement organizations may still be caught off guard. Introspective teams would do well to ask themselves a few questions — and give very careful thought to the answers.

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