Whilst we are waiting for the Procurement Trends 2017 results...here's our top tips!

Our Procurement Top Tips for 2017

17th January 2017

The Procurement Trends Survey 2017 is live and bubbling away collating the data from procurement professionals up and down the UK and beyond. Now in its 6th year, the survey has been taken by nearly 2000 people in total and we look forward to gathering the results. Haven’t taken the survey yet? You can take part here.

It is at this point we state “where does time go?!”, but really, 2016 flashed before our eyes. Within the flash, came noticeable political (do we dare mention Brexit?), economic and technological changes. It has been said that procurement evolution is ongoing, but no giant changes have occurred this year. Some of the biggest changes in more recent years have been the internet and what it means for social interaction, mobile and cloud-based computing, and applications that we can utilise.

Before we reveal the results of the Procurement Trends Survey 2017, we have collated our top 5 procurement tips for 2017. Here is what you should be getting clued up on for the year ahead.

  1. The Lord Carter Imminent 2017 Date – NHS, listen up! Other organisations, take note!

In an interim report Lord Carter recommends developing a single national electronic catalogue for products used by the NHS in England and creating four national “productivity collaboratives” to identify and share best practice, including one focused on procurement and one on workforce.

Trusts focussing on the measure of key procurement metrics are responsible for driving compliance to the following targets by September 2017: 80% addressable spend through a catalogue solution, 90% addressable spend must be electronic to enable the Trust to report easier, 90% addressable spend by value under contract (consumables must be purchased through a contract to ensure compliance).

Earlier in the year, Science Warehouse published a whitepaper that set out 7 methods that Trusts can deploy to meet the 2017 deadline and Lord Carter’s objectives. The key methods are:

  • Implement an eCatalogue/eProcurement solution.
  • Employ the experts, knowledge is king.
  • Tackle the nemesis that is service spend.
  • Apply some scientific analysis.

Although the recommendations are aimed at the NHS, the key principles will help any organisation take control of their spend. To download the full whitepaper and learn more, please click here.

  1. Accurate, quality data is the key to making the right purchasing decisions.

The Crown Commercial Service has issued a Procurement Policy note to finish the year. It highlights key points that all public contracting authorities are expected to follow, one of which is to “ensure accurate and reliable data is available to Suppliers”.  As we are all too well aware poor data will affect buying decisions, user experience and restrict the usage of the system. Accurate data will give you an added advantage and ensure Buyers and Suppliers are getting access to complete information.

If possible, select a provider that can manage your Legacy data for you, adding value to your organisation by saving time and costs. If you are a Supplier, always classify your data correctly and provide images to support your products so that Buyers can find and purchase them easily.

  1. Consider your procurement persona – are you progressive and innovative?

You may have noticed that Science Warehouse underwent a re-brand this year, seeing a new website and brand image come to fruition. During the process, we spent much of our time considering who our solutions are targeting, and how we can work together so that Buyers and Suppliers can achieve their strategic goals.

We found that different sectors have adopted various procurement personas (a character that is presented to or perceived by others). From collaborative and progressive purchasing styles to innovative, thought leading methods, we want to make sure our solutions align with how you procure.

Have you ever considered what your procurement persona is? Do you take inspiration from how the public or private sector are working? Or do you stick to traditional proven methods? Whether you are a risk taker or safe player, I challenge you to consider your procurement persona and take a moment to think how you could:

  1. Use your persona to review your current processes and solutions. Could they be improved? The technology is out there and it never stops evolving!
  2. Influence others within your team, other businesses and organisations through networking and collaboration. How you do things could help how others purchase.
  3. Focus on your goals and work towards them by being the change you wish to see within your team.


  1. Contract Compliance – Make it mandatory once a Supplier has been confirmed

You only have to read a few of our customer case studies to find out that contract compliance with Suppliers is a big challenge for many organisations. Many encourage contract compliance but do not enforce it. Others measure it to see how they can improve, and some make compliance mandatory once a Supplier has been identified and confirmed. These are our star pupils!

Last year, Science Warehouse found that increasing spend control delivers savings of up to 20% through contract compliance (according to 84% of respondents in the Procurement Trends Survey 2016).


  1. Spend analytics – Artificial Intelligence paired with experience is invaluable

Gain information and insight through a spend analytics solution, enabling you to reduce costs and manage your Suppliers more effectively by providing detailed all-round insight into your procurement spend. Artificial Intelligence is going to be a hot topic in 2017. Combined with a highly experienced consulting team, comprehensive and detailed procurement information can be retrieved from anywhere in the world in a range of languages and currencies.

Science Warehouse is currently offering a free data health check so that you can unveil insight into your organisation’s procurement spend. To find out more, click here.


The Procurement Trends Survey 2017 will look back over how procurement has changed, as well as make some future predictions from procurement professionals across many different sectors. The survey is currently live so make sure you take part and contribute towards this vital piece of research on the procurement sector. To take part, please click here.

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