Procurement Competency Assessment

Case study

Using Procurement Competency Assessment

By Simon Brown |


  • technology &
  • telecoms

Areas of Expertise

  • transformation
  • category management


  • consultancy

Organisation T/O

  • £5.4 billion

Organisation Geographic Spread

  • europe

Procurement Spend

  • £3.2 billion

Business situation

Our client was a large European engineering conglomerate with significant focus on cost reduction, working capital improvement and risk reduction. The Procurement Council decided to review the current Procurement organisation and standardise the different role descriptions across the various divisions. They mapped out a RACI table of roles and responsibilities and segmented the various roles into five common definitions.

There was a desire to assess the overall capability of the procurement team, which managed a spend of over €3bn. Both tactical and strategic roles were under review, and validation of any self-assessment scores from the team was required by using Procurement Competency Assessment.

Skills development was seen as a way of delivering better results through improved category management, sourcing and negotiation capabilities. The ability to compare standardised roles across a dispersed European procurement team was also seen to be extremely helpful. The skills framework could be used to assess improvements over time.

Solution implemented

The Future Purchasing team used its bespoke Procurement Competency assessment tool (COMPASS) to carry out a competency assessment across all 162 members of the procurement team. We worked with the client to agree on which competencies they wanted to use. We then selected the most suitable self-assessment questions from the comprehensive bank of 100 technical and behavioural questions.

Staff completed their self-assessment questionnaires online and we analysed the results for each job role and for each person. A selection of team members were later interviewed to validate the findings and avoid any “halo effect” of higher self-scoring.

Procurement skills gaps were identified and highlighted to the procurement leadership team.  Finally, a learning and development programme was recommended for the whole procurement team to implement the changes necessary to maximise value delivery from procurement across the organisation.

Benefits delivered

The procurement leadership team received a thorough and objective review of the overall procurement team competencies for each job role and per individual. In particular, the validation interview process provided a rich source of additional unexpected feedback.

The learning plan developed by Future Purchasing was focused on the highest skills gaps and recommended a blend of training workshops, on the job coaching and carefully selected projects to test learning.

As a result of Future Purchasing’s intervention, the client had a comprehensive competency assessment of their entire procurement team against specific criteria, and was able to provide targeted learning and development opportunities for the whole team.

Related Expertise

Supplier management

Our supplier management approach combines excellent tools and techniques across the full range of activity, from segmentation, through performance measurement and improvement and through to relationship strategy development.

Category management

Excellence in Category Management gives multipliers of value delivery compared to less effective programs. Our approach delivers a high performing team and process which provides sustainable value over years rather than months.

About Simon Brown


30 years procurement experience in line management and
consulting roles.
Previous employment: British Aerospace, British Airways, QP Group
Education: MBA, London Business School. BA (Hons) Business Studies.
CIPS: member