Think the procurement outsourcing trend isn’t really happening?
Tell that to Accenture.
The consulting and BPO giant just shelled out $375 million in cash for Procurian to continue their move toward an industry leading procurement BPO offering.
What’s especially compelling about this move is that it comes not long after Accenture bought Ariba’s services business. This was what remained of the old FreeMarkets’ services group. Combine that purchase with the Procurian acquisition, and it demonstrates a very specific goal on the part of Accenture: creating the world’s largest stable of category experts.
Having the right technology to support outsourcing efforts is critical, as is having the ability to collect and analyze data and, of course, execute sourcing initiatives. With that said, the capacity to drive real value no longer lies in these “block and tackle” elements of procurement. Rather, it will take the ability to drive meaningful change in the management of categories which requires subject matter experts. Accenture had some of their own, now they have Ariba’s and Procurian’s.
Accenture is assembling an army to do the critical work they know represents the future of procurement – work that they perceive companies will be unable or unwilling to do on their own: extracting value from the ongoing management of categories instead of simply sourcing them over and over again.
With major players like this positioning themselves to operate in the post-sourcing era, corporate leaders will soon take note.