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Next Generation Procurement Skills

Next Generation Procurement Skills


A recent white-paper sheds light on Procurement Digitalisation and required NextGen Procurement skills

Everyone related to procurement has wondered many times how digitalization is shaping the need for Next Generation Procurement Skills – especially since COVID-19 has amplified the demand for forming virtual teams that deliver highest performance using digital tools and working from anywhere.

In akirolabs’ first and hot-off-the-press whitepaper “Syncing Procurement Digitalization Roadmaps and NextGen Procurement Skills” the experienced procurement team around Detlef Schultz and Michael Pleuger has investigated exactly that in conjunction with the interrelation to procurement activities, digitalization roadmaps and talent & recruitment strategies. The whitepaper is based on 70+ years of cumulative procurement leadership and consulting experience, countless projects and 87 whitepaper-related interviews with procurement managers:

First, leveraging the field-proven scientific methodology “COGNTIVIE LENS”, the team has mapped 175 procurement tasks along the dimensions of “complexity” and “collaboration”. They conclude that strategic tasks are highly complex and collaborative, meaning that these tasks will remain with human workers augmented by AI. Examples include creating and approving category strategies, designing business requirements or reviewing local markets. In contrast, operational tasks ranked solitary and simple are prone for automation, such as repetitive tasks like PO creation and submission or receiving goods and services.

Second, the article identifies and describes seven essential “NextGen Procurement Skills” that foster the ability to perform the non-automated task of the future. These skills are Visionary Thinking, Capacity for Change, Digital Fluency, Ability to Resonate, Complex Problem Solving, Resource Management, and Collaboration skills.

Third, akirolabs provides a framework to derive a NextGen Procurement skill-centric digitalization roadmap. Using a segmentation approach they suggest how to scout digital tools that automate or augment procurement tasks, from simple-solitary to complex-collaborative.

Fourth, it is suggested how to derive talent and recruitment strategies in alignment with the digitalization roadmap and NextGen skills requirements by adopting agile development and lean startup principles that also work in the corporate world.

The full whitepaper can be download in the “Resources” section at

On akirolabs: akirolabs is an AI enabled strategic procurement platform that facilitates collaborative procurement strategy development BEYOND category management and savings. The company was established in 2021 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.