With the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel shining a little brighter week by week (fingers crossed) businesses are starting to look to the future and adapt to a rather different world. This blog will offer some suggestions on how procurement can help companies emerge stronger from the COVID pandemic. As always, we welcome your ideas and insights so please let us know what your experiences have been during this challenging time and what you have planned for the future.
We can help businesses prepare for future disruption
The COVID pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of the supply chain like never before. While we hope there will never be another crisis like the one we are tentatively recovering from, supply chain and procurement can help businesses better prepare for unexpected events in the future. Before the pandemic hit, most procurement and supply chain businesses were inching towards digital transformation, but with no real sense of urgency. If we as an industry prioritise digital transformation as a business strategy we can integrate and automate processes and bring more transparency, flexibility and communication to our workflows.
Adopting cloud technologies, big data and advanced analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things are all effective ways of doing this, but you need the skill bases and infrastructure to support this new way of working. Want to find out more about digitally transforming your business? Talk to us today.
We can build relationships with a more diverse range of suppliers
In a recent survey by McKinsey, 93% of procurement and supply-chain leaders said they planned to increase the resilience of their supply chains, and 44% said they would be willing to give up some short-term efficiencies to get it. If we strengthen the supply chain by looking beyond the usual partnerships, we stand a much better chance at withstanding disruptions and becoming resilient.
If you connect with partners that have an existing infrastructure that offers additional support, or a complimentary service, it makes it easier to adapt to a changing environment and respond to fluctuations in demand and supply more efficiently. Think of the supermarkets that took on hundreds of airline staff that were essentially grounded, or the grocery chain in India that partnered with a local ride-sharing company to deliver much-needed supplies to customers without bearing the cost of running their own fleet. The success stories range from the smallest businesses to corporations like Gap and Unilver. But the thing they have in common is their willingness to find a competitive advantage and remain resilient during an unprecedented crisis.
We can adopt agile ways of working
Agile working models facilitate better collaboration with both external and internal stakeholders, which is a vital component in thriving procurement and supply chain businesses. These working models enable businesses to respond more effectively and quickly to challenges and impacts and enable them to scale up or down more quickly. Agile working can help speed up negotiations during times of high pressure, or streamline the procurement of specific products when there are bottlenecks in supply. It is about working together more effectively and removing redundant parts of the process.
As with digital transformation, moving to an agile working model means making sure you have the right people on board to make it happen. Some of the digital transformation skill bases we mentioned earlier are also required here; data specialists, for example. But your business will also need people with great project management skills and diplomacy and negotiations skills that will help to smooth the agile processes. So, if you like to talk to a procurement and supply chain recruitment specialist about upskilling your workforce talk to us today. We can help.
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