In my line of work, I get to observe a lot of changes that affect the procurement profession. And I’ve noticed a certain trend developing lately.

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While we have provided our training to both individual procurement professionals and corporate groups for 10 years and we continue to do so at a growing rate, I am noticing something a little different this year. This year, we are seeing a lot of students who have not been in procurement enrolling in our training because they want to get into procurement.

While certainly someone with no procurement experience and little leadership experience is not an immediate threat to unseat a CPO at a Fortune 500 company, procurement professionals closer to the entry level might not be as safe. Macro-economic changes, such as the emergence from the recent recession, bring about restructuring.

“Restructuring” doesn’t always mean downsizing. It means taking some people out and bringing other people in. Or, to paraphrase Jim Collins, “getting the right people on the bus and then getting the right people in the right seats.” If a company is positioning itself to get back into growth mode, surely they will be reevaluating whether they have the right talent to support growth.

As long as you’ve kept your skills sharp and stayed up to date with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies in procurement, you should be able to stay where you’re at. But if you’ve let your skills and knowledge of modern procurement (and, by modern, I mean familiar with current practices of the past year, not the last five years) wither on the vine, someone is likely champing at the bit to unseat you.

What are the warning signs that you’ve let your skills wither on the vine? How about these:

  • You’ve felt you’ve had to work harder because you were kept employed to do your work plus the work of others who were let go and, therefore, hadn’t had time for training
  • You’ve deferred your career development to your employer who slashed the training budget
  • You’ve just been lazy and thought you’d be certified when you got around to it

If one or more of these items applies to you, you’re not the only one. But the big question is: what are you going to do about it now that you know that the skill levels of the people gunning for your job aren’t remaining idle?

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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