Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

• Prior to the pandemic, procurement executives were already trying to keep up with the breakneck changes that were being witnessed in the industry. From new technology and dynamic best practices, change was everywhere and it was inevitable if you wanted to remain competitive and keep spending low.

• With the pandemic as the biggest driver of change today, many have wondered what to expect in a post-COVID era. In this post, we explore some trends that have emerged and present to you the top six that are shaping the future of procurement.

What Does the Future of Procurement Look Like?

Well, to begin with, procurement has been forever changed by the disruption caused by COVID-19.  

1. Development of More Robust Operating Models

The need for stronger, sturdier, and more agile operating models became glaringly obvious at the height of the pandemic.

In a recent survey conducted by Ernest & Young, just 2% of the 200 senior-level supply chain executives responded that as a business they were qualified and prepared for the disruptions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

57% of respondents said they faced serious interruptions and 72% said these disturbances had a negative effect on business.

Most procurement executives are now cognizant of the fact that the future of procurement requires more streamlined and robust operating models to match the changing times.

2. Hiring an Analytically Fluent Workforce

With data being the new oil companies are clamoring to hire the best data analytics and data science professionals. Why? Because raw company data on its own is meaningless. Like crude oil, internal data’s real value truly becomes evident after refinement.

Data and analytics are going to be pivotal, foundational even, in coming procurement operations.  The future of procurement is digital and with that enterprises need to upskill and ensure they have the necessary hands, on deck to move the company forward both technologically and analytically.

And speaking of technology…

3. Investing in Innovative Procurement Solutions

Technology already plays an integral part in procurement operations. Software such as enterprise resource planning (ERPs) systems is invaluable.

ERPs in particular manage key aspects of a business allowing organizations to carry out day-to-day company functions like accounting and manufacturing.

When choosing software, it’s important to settle on options that allow integration of the procurement solutions you want. Fortunately, many of the leading ERPs – e.g. Plex and Syspro – have such functionality.

Companies will be able to seamlessly add innovative procurement integrations such as ProcurePort’s

· Reverse auction platform

· RFP | RFI | RFQ platform

· Purchase requisition platform

· Contract management platform

· Procure-to-pay platform

· Spend analysis platform

Furthermore, by integrating these data sources, companies will be able to improve vendor relationships owing to the centralization of communication channels and visibility provided by the integrations.

Read more: A vendor management guide for procurement leaders

4. Supply Chain Evolution and Expansion

If there is one thing that COVID taught procurement teams it’s the very real need for more than one supply chain. It’s not enough to simply have a single supply chain from which you procure all your products.

Should this solo supply chain become compromised (as did a number of supply chains during the pandemic) it can have disastrous effects on operations.

The solution? Sourcing teams are being encouraged to consider ways to effectively adopt and qualify more suppliers, and improve supply chain efficiency while working hard to reduce risk along each new chain.

5. The Push for Greener Supply Chains

There has been a widespread push over the years for greener supply chains or more sustainable networks as part of the future of procurement. Organizations are now being held accountable for their operational management methods and their overall environmental impact.

So how can procurement teams respond to this call?

By making use of ethical and environmentally sound practices at each stage of the procurement cycle.

The goal being mitigating air, waste, and water pollution. In addition, companies can also commit to sourcing goods from vendors that practice fair labor practices and are dedicated to environmental protection. This can be verified during the screening process by asking for compliance certificates. 

6. Adoption of Blockchain in Procurement Solutions

Oil and gas companies are now some of the most common targets of cybercrime as evidenced by several hacks in the last year:

Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack

Saudi Aramco ransomware attack

These persistent attacks, which experts say will only intensify in the future, have positioned blockchain as a favorable solution to help protect networks and provide better encryption of sensitive information.

It is hoped that as 2022 progresses a new reality for oil and gas procurement and supply chains will emerge as blockchain’s use moves from the pilot stage to real-world application. 

The Bottom Line

The future of procurement is indeed very exciting. The teams that will emerge as more resilient and stronger than before are those that manage to seize the opportunities opening up as the world returns back to a semblance of normalcy. The organizations that take advantage of the lessons gleaned from the pandemic.

All of this cannot be done without the right resources of course. Among the tools in your arsenal should be the leading suite of procurement solutions from ProcurePort.

Trusted and used by enterprises and organizations such as UNOPS, HUD.GOV, and conEdison, ProcurePort provides cutting-edge, easy-to-use procurement platforms and services.

To discuss procurement software with one of our consultants or schedule a demo of our solutions, contact us today.