Understanding the wants and needs of the North American CFO
Apr 13, 2012 2:15:00 PM
The need for Procurement to better serve their Finance colleagues has never been greater. However, one of the biggest challenges lies in educating Finance in how procurement can help power business - and I stress business. Procurement needs to be having business conversations with its stakeholders - not procurement conversations.
Understanding the mind of the CFO is key, which is why I recommend you read the recent Deloitte report on What North Americas top finance executives are thinking and doing.
An example of what can be learned from it is that one of Finances top challenges (p. 28) is in 'influencing strategy and operational priorities'. Procurement can, and should be, helping to drive this kind of influence on behalf of Finance from a knowledgeable and commercial perspective. For it is difficult for Finance to challenge and influence areas they are not experts in - hence why they typically use the blunt instruments at their disposal such as budget reductions to drive change, while offering no assistance in how the reductions can be made. Procurement should be providing this assistance, with Finance's full support. And the impetus is on Procurement to educate Finance to see how it can help.