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11/28/2011

Agenda 2012 in Purchasing

In the final months of a year, many companies start planning for the next year. That's why All about Sourcing wanted to know from leading procurement consultancies and from enterprises what challenges they can see in purchasing for the year 2012:

Gerd Kerkhoff: As with the onset of the economic and financial crisis in 2009, last year also showed again that companies were affected by major delivery failures: Up front, it was especially the Fukushima disaster being the cause for uncertainties. Although Japan is far away – almost once around the globe: Production delays were the result even in some European companies, especially in the automotive industry. That's why companies must now scrutinize the stability of their international supply chains. One of the major challenges of the year 2012 will be to increase the security of supplies in global markets.

This goes hand in hand with the challenge of securing the necessary raw materials and commodities. In recent years, oligopolies have developed in all industries on the supplier markets, especially in the area of commodities. At the same time, price fluctuations are huge, and exact forecasts can no longer be made. Yet, companies have to safeguard adequate supplies of commodities and raw materials. That's where purchasing teams will be challenged to develop solutions in 2012.

The greatest potential for corruption is in purchasing. So it's hardly surprising that purchasing most frequently deals with the subject of compliance. Companies need to render purchasing safe and put a stop to corruption, child labor and breaches of antitrust laws. Not only because the customer wants it. But also because the manager liability is so rigid today that decision-makers can still be prosecuted even ten years after they had left a company. Accordingly, managing directors and purchasing managers must render their purchasing area compliance-safe – that's the third trend currently seen to emerge for 2012, in addition to safeguarding not only supply chains but also raw material supplies.