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Forrester Opportunity Snapshot: The Future of Procurement

What are the key priorities for procurement professionals in a rapidly changing market?

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on purchasing behaviour for both consumers and organisations. It’s critical to adapt in an agile way to these changes, so what do procurement decision makers in high-revenue businesses perceive as their key priorities over the next 12 months?


The Opportunity Snapshot Methodology


In February 2020, Amazon Business commissioned Forrester Consulting to produce a report on how decision makers in high-revenue organisations viewed the key priorities and challenges of procurement over the next 12 months.  


The study interviewed 268 European procurement professionals across the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France, who are responsible for transitioning their businesses to online purchasing systems.  


Digitising procurement is key


The study found that COVID-19 has altered buyer purchasing behaviours, frequently shifting the journey online.


The majority of procurement professionals surveyed said they were responding to this changing customer behaviour by increasingly focusing on online procurement solutions.

  • 87% recognise the importance of accelerating their response to the ever-changing market
  • 74% said automation was a critical or high priority, and 87% are prioritising automating procurement processes through digitisation
  • 82% say their firms are currently expanding or upgrading their implementation, or planning to implement a procurement solution (such as online marketplaces) within the next 12 months


The value of improving the procurement process to respond to changing customer needs


The report revealed procurement leaders placed high importance on adapting to customer needs to achieve their business goals.


  • 94% of procurement decision makers cite the customer experience (internal and external) as a key priority in choosing a purchasing solution
  • 84% said streamlining buying was a critical or high priority
  • 87% said making procurement processes more agile was of critical or high importance

Over 91% of respondents recognised the need to tackle certain hurdles in order to adapt to the challenges created by COVID-19. The main obstacles are a lack of technology tools (44%) and a need to upskill and train employees in digital procurement processes (40%).


By addressing these areas, procurement teams will be in a strong position to embrace the advantages a digital procurement system brings.


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