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.
Risk plays a role in every decision that is made by every business – and the supply chain is certainly no exception. Every supplier choice, contract negotiation and procurement transaction involves an unavoidable element of risk.
But just because risk can never be fully eliminated, that doesn’t mean it’s ok to leave it up to chance. Effective supply chain risk management demands continuous attention, careful planning and thoughtful execution.
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.
IT products come with many social and environmental challenges. Conflict minerals, supply chain working conditions, hazardous substances, e-waste as well as the “take, make, use dispose” model of the linear economy demonstrate that the challenges and risks connected to our digital devices run wide and deep. Purchasers and users of technology are at the forefront of asking for better product options.
The entire world is watching aghast as our nation continues to struggle with its COVID-19 response, where our broken supply chain cannot supply medical workers with enough masks and face shields to keep them reasonably healthy. The pandemic has exposed inadequacies and vulnerabilities in supply chains that were supposed to provide the much-needed supplies in the healthcare system. But life-threatening shortages are reported daily. COVID-19 testing kits and nasal swabs, lab processing chemicals, hand sanitizer and ventilators are in desperately short supply.
Risk optimization and mitigation are essential within any Global Business Services (GBS) environment to proactively protect the enterprise from potential threats and enable confident business decisions. COVID-19 has uncovered previously unknown vulnerabilities, which left business leaders and board members scrambling for solutions to plot a course to stabilization.
As the world gets to grips with a world health and humanitarian emergency resulting from the spread of coronavirus (COVID19), the knock-on economic effects also take effect. In an increasingly global economy, we are starting to see how fragile some just-in-time supply chains have become.
The managed services market has been an interesting one to watch from a consultant’s point of view. There was a heavy trend towards outsourcing many key areas within IT, only for the pendulum to begin swinging to the other end of the spectrum where clients are now pulling some (or all) of those same services back in-house. Nevertheless, your organization is likely to use some level of managed services within the IT organization given constraints on budget, resources or expertise.
Sourcing executives today are all about innovation and adding business value: buying smarter to drive business benefits such as increased customer satisfaction, reduced error rates and insights into product design. In other words, procurement operational strategy aspires to demonstrate alignment with factors driving the success of the business, which is more than just cost takeout.
Who could argue with that?