Procurement professionals under pressure to procure at lowest price, says report

More than half (59%) of procurement professionals working for blue light and other public sector organisations feel under pressure to procure at the lowest price, Fusion21‘s second annual Procurement Trends Report has found.

This year’s survey results represent the views of 100 procurement professionals who work for organisations including fire and rescue services and NHS trusts.

Conducted during April and May this year, the research also found that 55% of procurement managers, directors and supply chain officers believe financial constraints have the biggest impact on their work and decision making.

However, while 39% of those who took part in this year’s research said quality was an ‘extremely important’ consideration during procurement activity, a larger proportion (47%) identified cost savings as being the most significant.

Compliance with procurement regulations, however, remains the most important consideration during procurement exercises, with almost three quarters (72%) of all procurement professionals describing it as ‘extremely important’.

Commenting on the findings in Fusion21’s Procurement Trends Report 2019, Sarah Rothwell (above), Head of Member Engagement at the procurement organisation, said, “We believe that procurement compliance is now a given for the organisations we work with, including those within the blue light sector, and ‘quality’ is considered to be something over and above meeting legal and regulatory public procurement requirements.

“Some contributors to this year’s research outlined how they achieve more with less by using spending power to insist on certain levels of quality. This is coupled with building relationships with potential suppliers to help secure long-term cost savings. For example, one department head at a blue light organisation, wrote, ‘Budget constraints mean the best of both worlds is required: highest quality, but still at the cheapest price.’

“However, it takes a certain skill-set to achieve this, and 43% of those who took part in our research said that they have faced, or expect to face, difficulties when recruiting talented people to their teams. More than half (53%) said they outsource procurement activity to organisations like Fusion21 in order to access support and expertise.”