In the world of procurement, there is always another crisis right around the corner. Time and time again, the industry has been rattled by various disruptions and forced to reconsider how we will weather the storm better than we have had in the past.
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.
With the COVID-19 Delta variant threatening pandemic recovery around the world, brands that source products globally are facing supply chain challenges in a business landscape mired by transit limitations, factory shutdowns, surging shipping costs, delays, labor shortages and rampant supply shortages.
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.
Recently DATAMARK, Inc., held a webinar on Business Continuity Planning. The three panelists discussed what was missing or did not receive sufficient attention in business continuity plans and the repercussions it can have for businesses worldwide.
The panelists were largely in agreement that many plans fall short when assessing the human impact of a potential disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Most plans tend to place a disproportionate emphasis on physical things like buildings, transportation arteries, communication networks and data centers.
The COVID-19 pandemic made an already challenging marketplace even more complicated, forcing businesses to seek out value in every corner of their operations—including in their extended networks. As a result, Global Business Service (GBS) organizations are increasingly investing in new capabilities, demonstrating to parent organizations their ability to improve business outcomes as a true strategic partner.
Just as there was no roadmap for navigating a crisis like COVID-19, there is no formula for the best way to come out of a pandemic, either. However, if anyone has proven that they are up to charting the way forward, it’s procurement professionals. As resourcing experts, procurement is known for finding strategic solutions that satisfy diverse stakeholder needs — and fast.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the global workforce in a variety of ways, with employee health and safety catapulted to the forefront of business concerns. Even with vaccination rollouts and months of experience navigating a worldwide pandemic, the future of the global workforce remains uncertain.
When Alibaba.com surveyed 5,000 SMB decision-makers in September 2020, keeping employees healthy and safe while reopening in-person operations was reported as the number one concern among employer firms in 2021.
Remember when the U.S. was virtually held hostage by OPEC? If they raised the price per barrel, U.S. consumers were stuck with higher prices at the gas pump. And then along came fracking. Boom! The U.S. took the alpha role in energy production. Carbon emissions notwithstanding, this new power freed the U.S. economy from dependance on other oil-producing nations.
The light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter for businesses that were forced to halt 2020 strategies and goals, customer acquisition and procurement. As the economy slowed to a halt, business leaders struggled to develop a risk management strategy that determined the how, why and when their COVID-19 safety protocols had been enacted. The waters were muddy because initial reopening strategies varied state by state and frequently changed based on infection rates in communities.
In March 2020, Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)—the largest electric cooperative in the United States, servicing more than 346,000 accounts in Central Texas—had to go from being fully in-office to fully remote virtually overnight, like many organizations across North America during the COVID-19 health crisis.
The supply chain is an often overlooked, yet critical, component of businesses everywhere. For a long time, the focus around supply chains has always been on efficiency and cost reduction. But when COVID-19 hit, weaknesses within the supply chain became readily apparent as traditional management approaches and technologies left businesses underequipped to tackle the huge surges in demand. This problem quickly became widespread. Whether it was a shortage of toilet paper on the consumer side or dropping supplies of microchips in the B2B world, no one was left unaffected.
With the impacts of COVID-19 still being felt around the world, it’s hard to look ahead at what might be coming next. But you should.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a truly unprecedented level of disruption to global supply chains, bringing entire industries to a complete halt. It was unlike any supply chain crisis we’ve seen in modern times, but it was far from an isolated incident.
Enterprise risk has never been a higher priority for businesses, executives and procurement practitioners than right now in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The coronavirus disruption has only accelerated many enterprise risks — from cyberthreats, employee health and safety, and most certainly, to supply risks affecting suppliers in complex value chains.