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CFOs and Indirect Spend

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Transforming Procurement: The Strategic Role of CFOs in Managing Indirect Spend

In the dynamic landscape of procurement, the role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) has evolved significantly, especially in the realm of indirect procurement.

At PREMIKATI, we understand the intricacies of this evolution and its impact on businesses. This article delves into the collaborative efforts needed between CFOs and CPOs to harness control over indirect spending and explores who should drive robust management in this area.

The Shift in Procurement Dynamics

Traditionally, procurement functions have focused on direct materials – those essential for producing goods or delivering services. However, with the acceleration of digital transformation, the focus has shifted towards a more strategic approach to procurement.

This is particularly true for indirect procurement, encompassing areas like travel, logistics, IT, and maintenance. These categories, often comprising a significant portion of revenue, demand an innovative approach to unlock their hidden value.

Navigating Indirect Spend

Indirect spend, unlike direct spend, deals with the broader costs of operating a business. It requires a unique approach, one that involves changing behaviors across an organization. For CFOs and CPOs, the challenge lies in balancing immediate cost reductions with the potential for greater long-term savings through strategic procurement.

Despite its importance, indirect spend often receives less attention in the procurement strategy. This oversight can result in missed opportunities for cost savings and efficiency gains. As companies continue to navigate the post-pandemic landscape, optimizing indirect spend has become more crucial than ever.

Strategic Actions for Enhanced Indirect Procurement

To bring indirect procurement into sharper focus, CFOs and CPOs might consider:

  1. Separating Indirect from Direct Spend: Distinct handling of indirect suppliers can lead to more targeted cost control strategies.
  2. Leadership Over Indirect Spending: Placing a dedicated head of indirect procurement under the CFO can facilitate better oversight and strategic planning.
  3. Enhanced Relationships with Stakeholders: Building strong connections with non-procurement stakeholders can lead to more effective contract management and supplier relationships.
  4. Defining the CFO’s Role in Cost Reduction: CFOs should oversee the monitoring of contracts and compliance, ensuring cost savings are effectively captured and utilized.
  5. Leveraging Technology for Greater Visibility and Efficiency: Implementing technology solutions can streamline indirect spend management, enhancing compliance and reducing unnecessary expenditures.

The Road Ahead

As companies emerge from challenging times, the transformation of indirect procurement presents a new frontier for cost savings and efficiency.

This transition, however, requires careful management and alignment of goals between CFOs and CPOs.

By applying strategic insights and leveraging technology, companies can turn indirect procurement into a valuable asset, contributing significantly to the bottom line.

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