Title: Differentiating between direct and indirect procurement: roles, skills, and Industry 4.0
Authors: Vincent Delke; Holger Schiele; Wolfgang Buchholz
Addresses: University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, Netherlands; Münster University of Applied Sciences, Corrensstraße 25, 48149 Münster, Germany ' University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, Netherlands ' Münster University of Applied Sciences, Corrensstraße 25, 48149 Münster, Germany
Abstract: The distinction between direct and indirect material procurement is widely understood in practice but only faintly described in research. To manage both, specific purchasing strategies, processes, tools, and skills are needed. With the increasing attention to purchasing competencies and the influence of digitalisation within the purchasing field, this research sheds light on the management of both commodity types, focusing on the difference in skills needed. This research takes an explorative approach by using a world café study with 81 procurement professionals to assess future purchasing skills. Results show that the responsibility for innovation buying is expected to increase for direct purchasers, a wave of internationalisation and the associated need for cultural, communication and flexibility and agility skills is expected for indirect purchasers. This research contributes by structuring previously unstructured phenomena within the human-centric profession by addressing specific purchasing roles and changing skill requirements within the field's current digital transformation.
Keywords: professional roles; skills; indirect and direct material; purchasing and supply management; Industry 4.0; direct and indirect spend; non-production-related costs; indirect expenditure; indirect purchasing; indirect procurement.
International Journal of Procurement Management, 2023 Vol.16 No.1, pp.1 - 30
Received: 04 Mar 2022
Accepted: 07 Mar 2022
Published online: 21 Dec 2022 *