From Buyer to Supply Manager in 25 years

ADR celebrates its 25th anniversary today. We’re here at the annual ISM annual conference, where we are seeing and getting to meet some of the newest and brightest practitioners in our profession, as well as colleagues I’ve worked with for many years. All in all it’s a fitting place to reflect on the changes we’ve seen in those 25 years, as well as the challenges ahead.

I chose the headline for this post because it pretty well captures the path of procurement since ADR was founded. What once was primarily a back-room administrative function has become an important process that CEOs recognize as critical to the success of the enterprise.

Clearly the trajectory of the profession is continuing in the same direction. My presentation this morning was on business skills supply managers need outside their envelope of typical experience. It wasn’t long ago that we’d be delighted to see a procurement professional on a cross-functional team trying to bring new value from suppliers through strategic relationships. Now we are starting to see CEOs calling on procurement executives to lead teams addressing a wide orange of business issues. The scope of our work has increased dramatically, and when it does, the old silos have truly toppled.

BTW – here’s the link to a brief article about our anniversary.


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