Job Description: Chief Procurement Officer

Posted by Andrew Bartolini on September 10th, 2012
Stored in Articles, Chief Procurement Officers, General, People

Fall is a great time to start planning for the year ahead, both personally and professionally. Given the pretty dramatic shifts in employment practices that most industries have experienced in the past five years (shorter tenures and higher turnover), it makes sense for every procurement professional to do a career self-assessment at least annually.

Are you on the right track towards your short-term, mid-term, and long-term career goals? If yes, what can you do to maintain or accelerate? If no, how far off are you and what do you need to do to “course correct?”

Depending on your current position, becoming (or continuing as) a Chief Procurement Officer could be a short-term, mid-term, or long-term career goal. I assume this could be a said for a large numbers of our readers. As such, I’d like to share with you the beginning to the job description to a very high-profile Chief Procurement Officer position that was filled last year. Total annual compensation was seven figures.

The Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) will lead the Global Procurement organization across the entire enterprise, including all business units and regions, for all direct and indirect sourcing and procurement. This responsibility includes strategic vision, operational planning, and execution. The CPO will lead a team of senior direct reports, with sourcing and procurement professionals deployed in every region of the world and with numerous matrix relationships. The CPO is the supply management partner for the Business Units (BUs), responsible for sourcing and procurement processes, systems, and results across the global enterprise, to include strategy development and implementation, common process definition and deployment, procurement organizational development and leadership, and delivery to support the company’s business model, strategies, and financial operating plans. The CPO is directly responsible for material deflation, indirect savings and supplier development and performance, including quality and lead time reliability.

The CPO will continue the Company’s evolution in best practice procurement capabilities and organizational development, transforming the organization from one that is locally-driven to one with a center-led, global construct. Where possible, sourcing and procurement activities will be driven from a global perspective to continue to maximize leverage and overall effectiveness of supply. Where local requirements dominate for practical reasons, the CPO will establish category “Centers of Excellence” to assist the various BUs and regions in applying best practices locally.  Due to the complexity and diversity of the Company’s business, multiple matrix structures are in place and must be operated within effectively. A key requirement is the ability to drive change across the organization, and, in partnership with BU leadership and strategic suppliers, move the enterprise to the next level of sourcing and procurement results globally, while incorporating the best practices already in place within certain parts of the organization and providing the thought leadership to adapt new best practices.

Sounds like an awesome opportunity, doesn’t it?

I find it very interesting as the role of CPO has become increasingly standard, so too has the path that CPOs follow prior to becoming one.

If you’re due for a career self-assessment and/or are interested in this topic, I invite you to listen in to my recently recorded webinar, Becoming a Chief Procurement Officer - The Qualifications, Experience, and Characteristics of a CPO where I discuss the job description, responsibilities, qualifications, and characteristics required in actual CPO job requisitions that have been filled in the last year or so. I also present a profile of a “typical” CPO, based upon my discussions with more than 30 VP/CPO/Heads of Procurement.

Click here to view the webinar (registration required).

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