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  • Writer's pictureK. Wilks

Need To Expedite Your Transformation? Hire a Fractional CPO

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

What is a Fractional Chief Procurement Officer? It's like a double-shot of Redbull in your Koolaid! In business terms, it's a seasoned executive available on speed-dial to help grow your business without the headaches of recruiting, the need to sacrifice scarce FTE budget, or to compromise strategic growth caused by tactical delays.

Fractional CXO roles have taken the business world by storm, even before COVID. Forbes cites one example (a CMO), and the generally appealing attraction to this flexible resource as fast, agile and cheaper than traditional consulting to give you an independent executive experience, size-appropriate strategies, and a sustainable roadmap where benefits are seen within short sprints and at a fraction of the cost.

No industry remained unaffected by COVID. Indeed, most sectors saw substantial and sometimes permanent disruption in the form of people availability, supply chains, customer support, transportation; and in more dire circumstances, it was the difference between keeping the lights on and going out of business.

Enter the Fractional CXO

Companies who weathered COVID and were able to remain resilient, relevant and rebound quickly were those that recognized the benefit of speed, leveraged resources, and experience - all of which come at the ready with a Fractional Executive (CXO)

What is a Fractional CPO?

Why Hire a Fractional Executive?

Benefits of a Fractional Executive


What is a Fractional CPO? A Strategic Advisor on Tap

A Fractional CPO is a procurement executive who divides time between multiple clients, working with each a “fraction” of the time. They also cost a fraction of what a full-time CPO does, making them a perfect solution to many start-up and SMEs’ procurement challenges.

COVID accelerated the shift from conventional working to more flexible working with more reliance on digital technology. With this change came new supply chain complexities requiring rapid responses from business owners.

In addition to seeing contraction in the marketplace, companies increasingly experienced impact to business operations due to slow response times or the inability to move personnel into position quickly enough. During those tough times, businesses with a Fractional CPO were able to flex and scale their procurement and supply chain operations faster and were thus better able to weather shifting needs of the marketplace for sustained earnings and a return to growth.

Why Hire a Fractional Executive? Faster Results

Adding a dedicated Chief Procurement Officer isn’t feasible for many companies for many reasons. That doesn’t make the position any less important. That is why more and more companies are opting for a Fractional CPO to help them to plot and achieve their sourcing, supply chain and procurement goals, alongside more complex matters like sustainability/ESG compliance and ISO accreditation.

Best suited to start-ups, SMEs and private equity, a Fractional CPO provides instant access for companies seeking advice on executive operational strategies, ESG compliance sign-posting, supplier risk assessment, process and policy roadmaps - all without the risk, cost or delay of bringing someone on full-time.

Fractional CPO’s provide deep and vital experience on a retainer basis (as may be needed for a start-up still in incubation stage) or against a more defined sprint framework of specific deliverables such as for a PE acquisition under development. In all cases, they deliver a low-touch, high impact model against a short window, typically in and out anywhere from 30 to 90 days, although it’s not uncommon for an FCPO to stay on as a trusted strategic advisor.

Benefits of a Fractional Executive

A Fractional CPO can bring incredible value to companies where having a full-time CPO wouldn’t make sense, either fiscally or even practically due to the typical scope - or speed - of challenges needing attention.


  • C-level advisory aiding executives in the right-sizing of procurement personnel/infrastructure to scale for substantial, long-lasting profitability in a new, growing or stalled business

  • Immediate experience and executive leadership to help define, organize and implement procurement operations or supplier ecosystems

  • Technical assessment and policy support for CSR, ESG and/or ISO accreditation strategies (such as ISO 27001)

  • Consultancy Partner for pre/post acquisition to run in advance of, or alongside, the core transformation programs

  • Structured negotiation drop-in clinics and supplier audits, as needed

  • Carried over 90 day sprints, defined weekly meetings, dedicated virtual channels for idea and sandbox sharing or impromptu process or program reviews

At Spring CPO, we help private equity, start-up and medium-sized companies achieve their true potential with our experienced CPO-for-hire services. A Fractional CPO is a senior procurement executive who can help your organization access material savings, reduce time to market, achieve compliance faster, and right-size your personnel to accelerate profits.

It’s been proven that the most successful companies are those that are most resilient at start-up and can create their own opportunities for sustainability even in times of adversity because they can scale faster and are better leveraged than their competitors to weather the storm. A Fractional Chief Procurement Officer helps you to scale quickly, establish the right-sized and relevant operation and reduce risk in your supply chain.

Spring CPO is committed to helping businesses like yours. Contact us today.


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