The Decentralisation of Procurement: Shaping Future Trends in 2024

The landscape of procurement is undergoing a significant transformation, one that promises to redefine how businesses manage purchasing and supply chain operations. At the heart of this transformation is the decentralisation of procurement. Unlike traditional centralised procurement operations where a singular procurement team oversees all purchasing activities, decentralisation empowers individual stakeholders and employees to make purchases for their respective departments. This shift towards a more distributed model of procurement is not just a fleeting trend but a strategic move embraced by an increasing number of companies to enhance operational efficiency and adaptability.

The Rise of Decentralised Procurement

Recent statistics reveal a growing inclination towards decentralising procurement, with 35% of procurement decision-makers actively seeking to decentralise purchasing. This approach enables departmental teams to procure goods and services directly, ensuring that their specific needs are met promptly and efficiently. Moreover, an overwhelming 95% of decision-makers report that their organisations are looking to outsource procurement activities to third parties, highlighting a significant shift towards leveraging external expertise to streamline procurement processes.

Overcoming Challenges

Despite the evident benefits, many companies hesitate to embrace decentralisation due to fears of rogue spending and lack of supplier compliance. The concern is that without a centralised oversight, departments might engage in unauthorised spending or fail to adhere to established supplier standards, potentially undermining cost control and supplier quality.

However, forward-thinking procurement teams are navigating these challenges not solely by implementing their own systems but by working closely with suppliers that already offer sophisticated procurement solutions. These solutions come with comprehensive functionality, including customisable permissions and authorisation levels, provided by the suppliers themselves. This approach allows businesses to leverage the supplier’s technological infrastructure to maintain control over supplier relationships while offering the flexibility for departments to make purchases as needed. By partnering with suppliers that provide such advanced ordering and control systems, companies can ensure they maintain visibility and governance over departmental spending, aligning with the decentralised procurement model’s demands.

Embracing Single Source Suppliers

The theme of decentralisation internally may lead to more companies opting for single source suppliers. Partnering with a single supplier who meets the criteria for supplier compliance, offers a broad product range, and provides advanced ordering functionalities, can offer businesses the blend of autonomy and control essential for effective procurement. In 2024, as businesses continue to prioritise cost savings, sustainability, and technological innovation to create efficiencies, the selection of a supplier becomes crucial. A partner that aligns with these objectives can significantly contribute to the success of a decentralised procurement strategy.

Office Depot: Your Single Source Partner

As we navigate the evolving procurement landscape, Office Depot stands out as a leading partner for businesses across the UK, offering a comprehensive solution to the challenges of decentralised procurement. With over 1 million products available at the click of a button, Office Depot provides an industry-leading online ordering platform designed to empower teams with the necessary tools for efficient procurement management. Office Depot’s online ordering platform facilitates the setting of authorisation and permission levels, ensuring procurement teams have the overarching visibility and control needed to meet their objectives.

For businesses looking to embrace the benefits of decentralised procurement while mitigating its challenges, Office Depot offers the perfect partnership. To explore how Office Depot can enhance your procurement strategy, visit or book a discovery call today.

*Sources; KPMG’s CEO Outlook survey 2023 and Amazon 2023 Procurement Report.

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