Purchasing Leaders Look to 2024

2024 Purchasing Priorities | Blog

We recently surveyed manufacturing purchasing leaders on their priorities for 2024.  Over 50 shared their thoughts, and we conducted follow-up interviews with many to understand their concerns – and plans – for the coming year.  This article focuses on the top 3 issues cited as a high priority by those surveyed. 

Little Time to Be Strategic 

Cited as a high priority by 53% of those surveyed, this issue was also a top priority when we last surveyed purchasing leaders eight years ago (46% identified it as a priority in 2015). Some of the comments we hear on this issue: 

  • Buyers have gotten used to buying on price. 
  • The purchasing team is still spending too much time fighting fires. 
  • Labor shortages within the supply base continue to constrain some material availability. 
  • Other functions look to purchasing to solve whatever issues come up, because we’re good at it. 

Not Leveraging Artificial Intelligence 

Cited as a high priority by 51% of those surveyed.  Purchasing leaders we talked to are hopeful that AI tools can be used to relieve their team of some of the administrative work that is holding them back from focusing on strategic purchasing activities, but most have not started exploring what is available.   

  • We’re using bots for MRO/crib admin tasks and some 1-off projects. 
  • I’m using AI to fast-track research on suppliers and categories. 
  • HR is the function that has embraced AI the most (e.g. job descriptions, performance reviews). 
  • IT doesn’t allow us to us AI due to security risks. 
  • People are using ChatGTP for commodity research and negotiation preparation. 

Challenging Savings Goals 

Cited as a high priority by 49% of those surveyed.  Some of the comments we heard on this issue: 

  • We’re in good shape, we’ve identified the targets for 2024 and are putting together a road map to execute. 
  • We’re given moving targets – when we achieve the goal, leadership raises the bar – it’s making it difficult to keep people motivated. 
  • Leadership is expecting big savings in 2024, and we still have suppliers coming in for price increases. 
  • Our buyers know the products, but are short on purchasing skills – we’re putting them through training to close the gap.

Want to learn more? Join us on January 17th for the free webinar “Top 10 Purchasing Pains for 2024”

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