As we are hopefully moving beyond the pandemic, one positive trend that began during the height of 2020 supply chain upheavals was the emergence of the Micro Fulfillment Center (MFC). Supply chains made swift seismic shifts to accommodate new business models during pandemic and have gained a new attitude toward flexibility and fixing what remains broken. Technology exists to accomplish additional changes that will help manufacturers, brands, retailers, and supply chains meet a new and uncertain future.
The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a direct result of one of the biggest supply chain management disruptions in recent history -- the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages aren’t just bad news for hospitals and retailers, but can often mean the difference between life and death for healthcare workers and their patients.
The tricky question that most if not all companies face on a constant basis is how to get their suppliers fully engaged and committed to – and even be instrumental in driving – innovation.
While the importance of innovation is a given that dates back more than 50 years to the teachings of Peter Drucker in The Practice of Management (1954), it has only been fairly recently that academics and organizations have been studying how to make innovation go from idea to reality.
John W. Henke Jr. and Chun Zhang are two such academics.
With more than half of the world’s GDP dependent on nature for its resources and services, companies and their supply chains, have an outsized impact on the environment. The stark reality is that corporations continue to increase emissions of toxic greenhouse gases year after year because of their reliance on fossil fuels as a dominant source of energy.
The global COVID-19 pandemic put supply chain management and procurement in a very bright and positive spotlight for keeping life moving as normal as possible during all the shutdowns, disruption and general uncertainty.
It also highlighted that business and supply chain disruption are ongoing facts of life – such as ongoing extreme weather events globally and a megaship blocking the Suez Canal for weeks, to name just two. And the impacts created a snowball effect on other industries:
Cloud compliance accounts for a company adhering to previously established cloud usage regulations and standards that are dictated by both federal laws and industry guidelines. Let’s say your business operates within the FinTech industry. This means that you must adhere to the Fintech Law (comprising 100+ laws and multiple regulators, tribunals, etc.) in terms of how you store and handle customer data. The same goes for the healthcare industry for storing and handling patient data, and so on.
The role of procurement is changing. Okay, I know – you’ve heard that before. But after the events of 2020 and the ongoing repercussions, that change has been hugely accelerated.
Increased market volatility and a high risk of supply chain disruption have placed pressure on procurement teams to maintain profitability, better manage working capital, mitigate third-party supplier risks and drive business sustainability. As a result, those teams are playing a more central and strategic role in their organizations.
You might not realize it yet, but your procurement data can tell you a lot. It’s not just numbers either, it can tell you a story about what is going on within your organization -- and even further afield.
CPOs are always looking for new ways to increase internal advocacy and improve strategic value to elevate the role of Procurement. As the lead of an organization’s financial vision, CFOs can support their counterparts in Procurement by helping them achieve this goal.
For CFOs looking to build up that relationship, we suggest starting the conversation by focusing on building a strategic procurement plan aligned with Finance’s working capital strategy.
Jane Zhang and Naz Rahman, ETCH Sourcing
The value creation challenges we faced decades ago are the same that organizations still grapple with today. The main difference, however, is that the rate of innovation is accelerating daily. So, although studying the past should be a part of your strategy, we need to be careful it does not become a comfortable crutch. We cannot chart a path forward by looking backwards.
Without a doubt, international business travelers face a high risk of cybersecurity breaches. If you travel for work, you’ll likely have to do business on more than one device, including laptops and smartphones. If your trip is for pleasure, you might use a phone or tablet to share special moments and keep in touch with folks back home. The information on your computer or mobile device is sensitive, and you don't want it to fall into the hands of the wrong person.
In today’s business world, time isn’t just money. Time is everything. To achieve a competitive advantage, procurement teams must complete their business objectives with more agility than ever.
But what does more agility in purchasing and contracting practices actually mean? How can a business adapt its existing operations to keep pace with industry leaders and mitigate high-level risk without sacrificing quality, compliance or reliability?
Inflation is a word that has been on the minds of every procurement team in 2021. We are seeing a sustained period of supply shortages and price volatility of the kind that most commercial professionals will not have experienced in their working lives. In one way or another, it is having an impact on virtually every business.
Global trends, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have taught procurement professionals the value of identifying supplier red flags and mitigating the risks they may pose before it’s too late. To do this, some organizations are making local buying their top priority, while others are committing to consolidating their supplier lists or further diversifying as their needs demand.
Any smart procurement executive knows that you need to spend money to make it. You might find people who believe you can start and operate your business without any significant investments. But that approach can lead to challenges of its own.