As 2021 closed and the world is still processing COVID-19’s devastating impact, procurement professionals continue to navigate murky waters. Amid setbacks, new virus variants, supply chain disruptions, and a continuously stuck transportation industry, procurement professionals need to be one step ahead to mitigate current and future disruptions and protect the supply chain while driving value for their organizations.
The modern supply chain is made up of an incredible network of different industries across the globe that make deliveries to companies and customers in a matter of days. Yet, since early 2020, it has been evident that even the simplest and most streamlined systems are subject to major issues.
Restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic appear to be lifting, and some people are resting easier. Nevertheless, many organizations faced upheavals and disruptions that have left systems and processes tattered and, in many cases, broken. Moving ahead, managers can try to revert to the old ways of doing things ... or they can embrace change, learn how to solve procurement challenges, and adjust procurement strategies and processes to tackle the new realities.
Most were glad to leave 2020 behind. Yet, for all the uncertainties and unusual changes the world faced, people also learned important lessons and, as a result, changed their habits in ways that will be in effect for years to come. Nowhere is this more apparent than in manufacturing procurement.
Remote work, social distancing, supply chain issues, shortages, and other disruptions have permanently reshaped operating strategy trends and created new opportunities for cost-saving initiatives in procurement. The operational landscape has altered, and many long-held practices are being adjusted to reflect the new reality.
Partly due to the pandemic and partly because of advances in technology, several trends have emerged in 2021 that promise to affect procurement strategies for years to come. Additionally, these changes offer new cost-saving opportunities. Below are four trends and cost-saving initiatives in procurement that every manager should consider implementing.