As a specialty recruiter focused in the areas of purchasing and supply chain - I have often had many requests for procurement professionals - clients want them in all shapes and sizes. And within those job searches the list of requirements usually includes direct or indirect goods or services experience coupled with a desire for global, national or international experience from within ideal specific industry sectors. Most hiring managers today are of the mind that procurement professionals and the category experience they bring can be transferable - that it really is about the principles and those methodologies and the fundamentals within that make them good at saving money. "WHAT" they buy is less important then "HOW" they buy it
But while this mind set works for some, other industry professionals believe it is more important and effective to become or be a subject matter expert in your category or service. Therefore putting more of the emphasis on the "what". Information Technology and the sourcing of such products and services is a direct example of how being a specialist beats being a generalist. Technology and the world it embraces is constantly changing and demands on that change are influenced by innovation, price, social influence etc. and it takes a robust professionals to stay current with the nuances of these highly specialized products, the pros and cons these products/ services offer and the right technology mix you can offer to your employer and internal clients - who are more often than not all specialists in their respective spaces. As a procurement professional adding value - you must offer informed and educated solutions not only by offering a competitive price but also by becoming a true partner and subject matter expert to your client (internal client). Lets face it-information technology is a language unto itself and experience has proven these highly skilled professionals are often not so forgiving if you can 't understand what they want and keep up with the changes in their subject areas.
This subject matter expertise approach will also help you as you sit across the negotiating table with your suppliers so you can build quality assurance into the process. Information Technology strategic sourcing professionals are the most sought after skill sets today - the demand for these subject matter experts is extremely high and companies are paying top dollars to get them or hold on to them. Though a strong procurement professional is thought to traditionally be versatile in what they source and that those fundamental methodologies apply regardless of categories or commodities - this does not hold true in IT.....because quite simply if you do not have this particular SME sourcing experience....you are very rarely given an opportunity to acquire it because of its sophistication and deeper need for product knowledge.
We have undoubtedly reached an era of Specialists and people today are looking for that service provider or partner that can quickly save them time, money and produce results. Rather than recreating the wheel - they leave it to the experts to handle!