Procurement Journey: From Shopfloor to Boardroom | Original Article
There was a simplistic definition of procurement as a process of getting right material, at right time, at right price, at right place & in right quantity. The procurement managers were the employees in an organization, which used to work in the ‘backstage’. Initially shop floor engineers used to carry out procurement of needed components. The scenario has drastically changed in the recent times. Nowadays, procurement is considered as a strategic function having direct linkages with corporate Balanced Score Card (BSC) and having significant impact on the bottom line. This research paper, takes a bird’s eye view on the transformation the procurement function has witnessed in last few decades. It also attempts to glance in to the future of the procurement function and the supply chain industry as a whole. The supply chain industry and specifically procurement function is evolving very rapidly with the advent of information technology. The paper compares the legacy systems & processes used in procurement vis-à-vis the sophisticated IT systems which automate most of the transactional tasks. It also discusses the changing role of a procurement manager from mere an expeditor to a major contributor in product/service design & cost optimization. It touches on the topic of career prospects for mechanical engineers in the procurement domain. Through this paper, we have also tried to throw some light on the most important angle in the procurement, which is ethical purchasing. The paper not only takes in to the consideration of direct procurement where in the raw material which goes directly in to the product is bought in , but also it discusses at length a contemporary domain of Indirect procurement.