Learning and Career

How Being A Chief Procurement Officer Has Evolved

Companies – no matter the industry – have evolved over the years. As for Chief Procurement Officers (or CPOs), they’ve finally seen their share of being valuable contributors to their company’s strategy, when it comes to both business and where it’s heading. Now, there’s a need for CPOs to take on their roles in newer ways than one.

To understand the evolution of CPOs in the workforce, we will explore an overview of the occupation from the start of competing forces to the adaptive state of it. It’s with this overview that we can get a consensus of what’s to come for CPOs, and what they’ll still need to be future-ready.

CPOs V. Digital

CPOs are responsible for handling business contracts, develop purchasing policies, and manage the budgeting,” says Michael Rodriguez, a marketing writer at Lia Help and EssayRoo. “However, in most recent years, not only is there 31% an increase in competition for CPO positions but there’s also a rise in going digital. As a result, CPOs are slowly, but surely, adapting to the changes in their roles as digital is phased in, such as AI, blockchain, and robotics. In other words, while some parts of their jobs are going digital, other tasks will still need human CPOs.”

The State of Technology

The rise of technology has already paved the way for innovations within companies – and CPOs are no exception to those affected by this rise. However, as it stands right now for companies – according to Supply Chain Game Changer, 30% of a company is tech-based with digital transformative tools, while 70% is the people in the company.

The consensus, so far, is that technology might be in, but there’s still a need for the human CPO to ensure that the cost of consumer goods is being lowered, when it comes to the supply chain. While technology can still automate tasks like vetting vendors and negotiating pricing, there are certain ones that can only be completed by people, like:

  • Provide better communication in collaborations
  • Risk-scenario planning
  • Reduce total lifecycle costs
  • Reduce ownership costs, AND
  • Be more innovative in procurement

The State of the Team

Another factor that might be hindering CPOs is the fact that improvements need to be made in the role itself, regardless of whether or not technology is involve in the evolution of companies. Right now, 87% of CPOs are concerned about the talent, when it comes to driving procurement performance. Plus, they’re looking for talent within the younger, and more agile community to take on today’s CPO positions.

The Importance of Collaboration

“Collaboration should always be on CPOs’ minds, because that’s how they can adapt to the changing times in their industry,” says Christopher Blake, a business blogger at OXEssays and Paper Fellows. “With executive and business priorities, CPOs have to mutually agree on performance metrics, in order to enhance how the effectiveness of the procurement as a strategic business partner.”

With that in mind, the supplier collaboration should involve the following:

  • Place CPO staff within the business
  • Align objectives and metrics with the right stakeholders
  • Share data with the right stakeholders
  • Close procure-to-pay (P2P) loops
  • Communicate with suppliers pre- and post-sourcing event, AND
  • Enhance risk mitigation with supplier intelligence

“The ultimate goal of collaboration is transparency,” adds Blake. “Demonstrating transparency in pricing, the supplier locations, and dependencies can help CPOs do well in regulatory, reputational, and operational risks.”

The Supply Chain

As collaboration blossoms in the CPO sphere, new ideas and topics have emerged from this evolution, including:

  • Monitoring carbon footprints
  • Studying fuel consumption, AND
  • Overseeing labor practices of suppliers

As a result, CPOs are moved closer into the circle, rather than be left out of the group as “outsiders.” That means that CPOs aren’t as obsolete, even with the new changes circling around the occupation, because CPOs and other supply chain workers must work together at some point or another.


So, as you’ve now seen in this overview, you’ll be glad to know that CPO positions aren’t going away any time soon. Even though the role of CPOs has somehow evolved with their respective companies, there will still be a need for human invention. In fact, this evolution has already brought to the table amazing benefits for both the CPOs and their companies. So, as companies move forward as technology involves more and more, so will CPOs.

Lauren Groff is an e-Learning consultant at PhD Writing Service and Academized.com. As a professional writer, she has been involved in many writing projects nationwide. As a blogger, she specializes in topics such as management, marketing, and finances. Lauren is a writer at Essay Writing Service.

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