2021 was an immensely challenging year for procurement teams across the globe. Not only did most of the challenges of 2020 continue, but many got significantly worse. Between major supply shortages, rising commodity prices and new variants reigniting pandemic-related disruption, teams had to work extremely hard just to keep their organizations operational, let alone achieve their strategic goals.
Because of the vulnerabilities that the pandemic has laid bare, many companies are re-thinking their sourcing strategies. While these issues have been most apparent in goods produced overseas, companies are also re-evaluating the wisdom of relying on providers in far-off locations with different time zones and geographies for outsourced services, such as AI and software development. For this reason, according to consulting firm MJV Technology & Innovation, the interest of Fortune 500 companies in nearshoring has significantly increased during the pandemic.
Given the supply chain disruption, business shut-downs and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, it’s never been clearer — doing business closer to your own shores is coming back into vogue.
With recent restrictions on H-1B workers and a tech talent shortage, selecting a nearshorer is fast becoming the first step on a company’s digital transformation journey.
In June 2020, in response to the coronavirus, President Trump signed an executive order to freeze access to new H-1B visas for professional and technology workers doing business in the U.S. This has a huge impact, considering in 2019 about 139,000 new H-1B petitions were approved, joining 250,00 which were extended.
A Wall Street Journal article recently posed an interesting question: “Is the world likely to become less flat because of the pandemic?” According to the article, while globalization was the growing trend in the early part of the new century, key drivers such as rising offshore costs, localization and a shift toward services delivery has begun to take some steam out of it.
With a regional GDP predicted to grow at least 2.5% per year over the next 10-15 years, Latin America makes up an enticing emerging market that will soon outpace larger, more established ones. According to Americas Market Intelligence, Latin American e-commerce revenues reached $109 billion last year. The e-commerce market is already substantial, with Colombia and Argentina making up two of the top three fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world.