Purchasing Strategic Planning: CPOs, Have You Done Your Homework?

By Paulo Moretti

December 03, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Every single year all companies face the budget planning cycle. At company level, this is defined as the revenue target, the costs and expenses to run the company, and, the profitability for the following year. In a perfect world this process should be two-way street where the corporate leadership defines the targets with functions and businesses giving their input. In the end, all functions and businesses must follow the corporate guidelines.

Short Term Planning

Once the company’s targets are defined, the CPO or Vice President of Purchasing should define the Purchasing targets for the following year. 

There are several Purchasing metrics available in the function that should be part of planning cycle. However I’ll mention a minimum of four targets the function head should define: Total Spend, Addressable Spend, Savings and Resources (FTE). 

Total Spend can be calculated using the company’s revenue and CAPEX  (capital expenditures) plan.

Addressable Spend can be estimated based on the previous year’s sourced spend; contracts which will expire in the following year as well as major spend needs based on Revenue and CAPEX. 

Savings can be defined based on improvement from the previous year’s savings in percentages (Savings/Addressable Spend), market economic cycle and relative position to market savings based on benchmarks.

Resources (FTE) can be calculated based on a budget defined by the corporation and previous year’s capacity (Spend/FTE) for each commodity. 

With these four targets, as VP of Purchasing or CPO, you are covering Efficiency (Addressable Spend / FTE) showing how much you can handle with existing resources and Effectiveness (Savings/Addressable Spend) showing the quality of your sourcing projects. 

Based on these targets, each Commodity Director can start defining the projects to be sourced next year, using the same metrics, and, the Sourcing Managers (buyers) can define their personal goals using the same metrics.

Long Term Planning

Strategic Planning is more elaborate and time consuming. The CPO or VP of Purchasing should lead the Strategic Planning exercise every three years covering the next five years. The objective is to define: Vision and Mission for the Purchasing function, as well as the Objectives and Goals for the next five years.

There are several methodologies to define this roadmap; however my preference is get grounded in facts; externally and internally. Let me elaborate about it.

Externally: Generate data from Global Economy Trends, Your Industry Trend and External Purchasing Trends.

Internally: Get data from Your Company (Business) Strategy and Your Purchasing Function.

Once you get all the information and data, through several sessions with the purchasing leadership, cluster and affinitize the ideas and trends into five to seven themes related to the Purchasing function. For each theme, define the strategic objective. Now you have enough material to define the Vision and Mission for Purchasing.

For each strategic objective, you need to define the goals for the next five years. Define as many goals as you think appropriate, then prioritize them by using value and impact to the company, also defining the completion date. It is recommended that for each strategic objective, the CPO defines a person from leadership as “owner” of the objective.

Once you complete the Long Term Planning, it is much easier to do the Short Term Planning because now you understand the “roadmap” and each year you refine the goals aligned with the business strategy.

As strategic planning is complex and time consuming, it can be worthwhile to have an outside consultant to help with the development of this process, at least for the first time. The consultant is unbiased and has an outside perspective helping to challenge the goals.

Now that you have done your homework, I wish you Happy Holidays and a very efficient and effective 2013. 


Tags: purchasing Strategic sourcing Supply management Metrics Procurement Leadership
Category: Blog Post

Paulo Moretti


Paulo Moretti is Principal at  PM2Consult.com, a boutique consulting company focused on excellence in the purchasing function for manufacturing industries and market analysis of Chemicals & Plastics industries. 

Prior to becoming Principal, he was Senior Consultant at Vantage Partners, and worked 35 years at The Dow Chemical Company, where he developed experience in such diverse areas as Manufacturing, R&D, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Strategic Planning, e-Business, and Purchasing. 

A native of Brazil now based in the U.S., Moretti holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, with Master’s degrees in Industrial Management and in Business and executive course certifications from Kellogg, Wharton, and MIT Sloan. 





Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

Related Content

Thought Leadership and the Demise of Your Third-Party MRO Outsourcing Program: Part 4

George E. Krauter

When one defines third-party MRO (3PMRO) success, one assumes that fundamental operations are being executed and that expectations are being met (i.e., ROI goals are surpassed} Read More

Guidance for Addressing the New Talent Acquisition Challenge

Dennis Bouley

The US Labor Department reported in March of this year that there were 6.6 million job openings, a record high. Although most of us applaud these numbers Read More

Millennials in Supply Chain Management Seek Advancement and Development Opportunities

Marisa Brown

Millennials working in the supply chain management field don’t fit the mold that the older generation assumes for them. APQC’s recent study Read More

Supplier Profiles


Staples Advantage is the one supplier that offers all the business solutions you need, all with the expertise of a specialty vendor. Read More


It started in 1972 with an idea, a new concept in distribution. Today, Digi-Key Corporation is one of the fastest-growing electronic component distributors in the World. The stimulus for this growth is Digi-Key's customer-centered business philosophy… Read More

Lunney Advisory Group

Lunney Advisory Group was founded in 2007. Our firm is not your typical consulting company. Some members of our firm are highly qualified and experienced industry executives/practitioners while others are full time or adjunct university professors.… Read More


What CEOs Expect Of Purchasing

Guest Contributor

Procurement and supply management leaders have a seat at the table, and management’s expectations are high. But what do CEOs really want, and is purchasing delivering on these expectations? This webcast looks at how procurement and supply management … Read More

Growing Purchasing Influence On Indirect Spending

Guest Contributor

At world-class companies, purchasing’s influence touches just about every area of spending. But, how exactly do procurement teams get to the point where other departments approach them for help with sourcing such indirect categories as human resource… Read More

Procurement-Finance Collaboration

Guest Contributor

Procurement & finance are two business functions which are often at loggerheads with each other. One reason for this is the lack of perception alignment on an important metric of procurement and finance performance - 'savings'. Read More