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Survey on Purchasing Practices in Global Companies

S86_benchmarkconmotion was asked to conduct a series of interviews with a wide range of companies to survey practices of purchasing in global operations. Interviews were conducted between November 2010 and January 2011.

In all global companies the role of the Purchasing function is undergoing a transformation from pure execution of the purchasing transaction to a professionally managed commercial function, which plans and executes purchasing power with a long term strategy for suppliers and categories as well as operational excellence. The primary reason is simple: Growing competition has increased the pressure on margins and profitability. Professional Purchasing enables companies to create more “value for money” from the purchasing process and the supply base. With increased global competition and growing global supply markets the supply base creates bigger opportunities to generate value through the transaction with suppliers and in the internal purchasing processes. This requires a globalization of purchasing organization, processes and systems.

The purpose of this survey is to outline practices and trends among the participating companies. This should give an indication about the options the surveyed companies have chosen in their specific industries / market environment regarding organizational structures, processes and systems in purchasing. The interviews conducted have focused on companies, which operate with a global supply chain and with global productions facilities. All respondents are in leadership positions in the respective purchasing organization.

The participating companies work in a wide range of industries. Half of them are from automotive industry or have a close links to it.

The turnover of relevant company / business unit surveyed ranges from 1 to 20 Billion Euro (2010).