International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management

A Comparison of North American and European Future Purchasing Trends Members Only Content

What jobs will exist in a typical firm's purchasing function in the future? The predictions include the following: The absolute number of jobs within purchasing will decrease, as will the layers of management. Purchasing organizations will adopt flatter forms, with less emphasis on hierarchy and less distinction between positions. "Functional silos" will become obsolete. The classical functions of marketing, manufacturing, engineering, purchasing, finance, and personnel will be less important in defining work. More people will take on project work focused on continuous improvement of one kind or another. Fundamental restructuring and reengineering will become a way of life at most companies. The primary focal points will be a new market-driven emphasis on creating value with customers; greatly increased flexibility; a new business-driven attack on global markets that includes a deployment of information technology; and fundamentally new jobs. Work will become integrated in its orientation, and the payoffs will increasingly be made through connections across organizational and company boundaries. New measurements that focus on strategic directions will be required. Metrics will be developed, similar to the "cost of quality" metric, which incorporate the most important dimensions of the environment. New human resource management approaches will be developed; human resource management will become less of a staff function and more closely integrated with the basic work. Teamwork will be critical to organizational success.

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