The Edbury Daley “Procurement and Spend Management Insider” report for spring 2021 is out. Published twice a year by international procurement and supply recruitment firm Edbury Daley, Insider maps M&A activity, key senior role moves, major market events and trends, changing skillset requirements and demands on solution providers to the European procurement technology and consulting markets. All this information, gathered in one place, is important reading for any senior procurement practitioner or consultant, especially those in need of an in-depth understanding of the recruitment landscape.
The past six months have seen supply chain risk, visibility and resilience, the importance of Environmental Social Governance (ESG), the value of data and data literacy as the dominant themes affecting both technology and people.
“The good news,” the report says, “is that both the technology and the people are stepping up to those challenges and that is something to celebrate.”
The hiring landscape Q1 2021 — Recent activity and trends
The report comprises five sections, all drilling down into pertinent parts of the procurement and supply market. If we look at section 3 alone — The hiring landscape for this quarter — we learn that:
“Activity in the market in January suggests both an improvement in demand in early 2021 and that procurement and associated technology markets are amongst the most robust professional job markets.”
This suggests that the current procurement and supply chain recruitment market is in a stronger position than many other sectors. If recruitment activity is often seen as “a key barometer of economic health and confidence,” as the report suggests, then this is a very good sign indeed. One reason for this, the report offers, is that the profession is at the heart of how companies will solve the challenges created by the events of 2020.
“Despite a large proportion of Europe being in various forms of national or regional lockdowns, the early signs in 2021 are that the job market for the sector is remarkably busy already.” (Also a good sign given that the hiring market largely ground to a halt in most of the second half of 2020.) “A significant number of software vendors and consultancies are actively in the market for staff. In the case of the vendors, the main demand is for revenue- generation roles such as sales, presales and customer success, whilst the demand in the consultancy market is driven by a thirst for people with transformation experience usually including the implementation and adoption of digital procurement tools.”
That rings true since many theorists maintain that the Covid pandemic has been, and will continue to be, a catalyst for increased digital transformation of procurement and the supply chain in a number of industries. The report looks at evidence of that in a later section.
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The other four sections of the report focus on:
- The big moves in the procurement and supply chain technology market: Despite the challenges facing the global economy in 2020, there were still some very interesting moves in the sector, and this section outlines the biggest. One of these was from Coupa, which made four acquisitions in 2020 taking its total to 18 with hiring activity very much on the client-facing side. Other busy hirers were Ivalua. This section also highlights the individual senior level manager moves in this space.
- Moves in the procurement and supply chain consulting market: The fact that there is also hiring activity in digital transformation from both PWC and Deloitte is a useful indicator of the health of this sector. Read this section to find out more about the types of hiring activity among the consultancies and their strategies going forward.
- The rise of digital and sustainable procurement: This research, past and present, has consistently seen the rise of the ESG agenda in the supply chain and further acceleration of the adoption of digital procurement tools. Both trends, it finds, are now more interconnected than ever with the rise of businesses like Circulor and EcoVadis. Read how and why the pace of change has materially changed in the past year, and why “this is procurement in 2021.”
- Procurement and supply chain technology trends: With the opening and impactful statement that Dun & Bradstreet found that five million companies, including 938 of the Fortune 1000, had tier-two suppliers in the Wuhan region of China when Covid first appeared, this section talks to the firms most affected. Edbury Daley spoke with leaders and senior managers in a wide range of organizations across the procurement technology ecosystem, from companies that offer full-platform solutions like SAP Ariba and Ivalua to best-of-breed tools such as Rosslyn Data Technologies. It also spoke with members of the procurement and supply chain consulting world including KPMG, Proxima, Xoomworks and Olivehorse. They explain what they have seen change in the past year in terms of demands from clients and prospects, what their clients’ priorities are now and how they are approaching them.
This last section also looks at the clear trends that have emerged and what they mean for developments in the digital procurement and supply chain world, especially in terms of professional development and industry demand. To read about that in full, along with all the other insights, you can download Procurement and Spend Management Insider for free.