Closing the procurement skills gap in the mobile workplace

The role of procurement continues to evolve and the expectations that organisations have of procurement’s contribution have increased as they become increasingly reliant on suppliers to support the business.

Our research indicates it is those teams that focus on retaining and developing their talent over time in a systematic and structured manner which tend to perform the best.

For more than 30 years we have been assessing the skills of procurement professionals, identifying the trends in procurement, and building skills within teams to ensure they adapt to changing expectations and have the necessary skills to perform.

Our online assessment tool has now been completed by more than 20,000 procurement professionals working in 1,000 organisations across 100 countries. This data set offers an amazing insight into the skills and capabilities of procurement professionals, and identifies how learning preferences have changed over time.

The platform hosts a wide variety of e-learning courses across a range of procurement competencies

Our data shows more work is needed in terms of developing the skills and capabilities that equip people to perform this more “strategic” procurement role successfully.

Core skills such as price and cost analysis, a reflection of the teams’ ability to drive profit contribution, show considerable weakness within many teams.

We have also witnessed much change in the way people wish to access learning, choosing to spend smaller amounts of time, but in higher frequency. Individuals are also wishing to access a greater variety of resources than ever before as confidence in online learning has grown.

Analysis and interpretation of our data set data reveals the following facts:


As a consequence, the format of learning interventions has become more varied and the deployment of skills development programmes more complex. Increasingly, programmes incorporate e-learning and organisations want hands-on support in coaching their people to apply new skills.

While the more traditional classroom training continues to be a popular medium for practising new skills in a safe environment, it is technology which is at the forefront and is increasingly used to enable collaboration.

With greater access to iPads, tablets, phone apps and mobile devices, people no longer need to be tied to their desk or indeed a classroom to learn. Our clients specifically want and need access to mobile learning for their teams to make better use of downtime in airports, on flights or trains and so on.

At ArcBlue, our Procurement Hub has been developed to enable knowledge sharing among teams. The community function encourages people to engage with one another inside and outside their own business, sharing knowledge and experiences as well as having access to advice from our own team of experts.

The platform hosts a wide variety of e-learning courses across a range of procurement competencies and is complemented by questionnaires, tools and templates, assessments and articles.

To find out more about our range of procurement services please visit or e-mail us at