“Hire Staff, Cut Corners, or Fall Behind”: Why There Can Be a Fourth Option

Procurement department dealing with staff shortages directly.

There is no secret that among procurement departments, no matter the industry—whether that be higher education, large corporations, more mid-size businesses, healthcare, non-profits, and more—staffing issues are a recurring problem. We have talked extensively about the issue in the past. And when staffing issues are present, “procurement burnout” becomes a serious matter.

Procurement burnout

There already exist numerous articles detailing the procurement burnout phenomenon. Procurement Magazine details it quite nicely in their article detailing how procurement teams are under increased pressure. So, if you’re reading this and relating to it, you are certainly not alone. As Procurement Magazine notes, the issue exists outside procurement—however, we find that procurement is affected in specific ways. To put it simply, organizations have a lot of data to go through, and not enough people with the expertise, time, experience, and know-how to comb through it all effectively and efficiently. This may be one reason why fraud is on the rise, according to PKF Mueller.

Procurement’s talent shortage

According to CPOstrategy, there exists a demonstrable talent shortage in procurement for a myriad of reasons. This exasperates staffing issues. Amazon Business, during the time of this article’s writing, recently released their 2024 State of Procurement Report. Among the statistics and insights shared, they identify staffing issues as one of the top risks facing procurement for the next one to two years. And as we said, the issue persists outside of procurement, so procurement teams are forced, in a way, to compete with other departments within the organization for dollars to put towards salary to increase headcount. All of this puts procurement leadership in a precarious position: forced to make a decision. The way we see it, there are four options.

  • Hire additional staff.
  • Cut corners.
  • Fall behind.
  • Leverage third parties.

Hiring additional staff is great, and we believe that growth and change is good and should be pursued when possible. But if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be a staffing shortage as we speak. The other two options are not acceptable, and organizations have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t cut corners or fall behind. That leaves pursuing third parties as a possible option to combat staffing issues.

Third party usage

According to the same report from Amazon Business cited earlier, 95% of surveyed decision makers said that they currently outsource some level of procurement activity to third parties. When factoring in all the compounding issues, it certainly makes sense.

There are a number of services and software out there that promote “expense monitoring” or “data visualization”, among other services that procurement teams are looking for to help ease their workloads. Card Integrity presents a unique offering to the marketplace that differentiates us from some of these other options.

  • We require no IT integration or implementation. There is, at most, maybe a few hours of implementation time with our service.
  • We don’t lock you into onerous contracts. This one is simple. We prefer not to burden our clients with making these kinds of decisions to start using our service. We know that resources are often tight as it is.
  • We believe in service over software. Every client is assigned their own forensic principle—that’s a real person from Card Integrity who is responsible for communicating our reports and data with you, and is always available to answer questions. Some companies tout their artificial intelligence capabilities. While we have a software tool of our own, we believe in making a human connection with our clients and consider ourselves a service, not a software.

But don’t take it from us. Hear from Iowa State University, one of our longstanding clients, by checking out our case study below.

“Card Integrity’s services, compared to hiring somebody who has that level of knowledge … are incredibly to our program.

Card Services Manager, Iowa State University
Case Study: Iowa State University. Safeguarding growing expenses through a longstanding partnership.
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