Businesses across the globe are settling in for the long haul of remote work and ongoing uncertainty. Amidst concerns for the health of their employees and the economic fluctuations, companies are looking to their sourcing and procurement teams to protect their futures and lead them into the next phase of “normal.”
With the right technology behind them, sourcing and procurement professionals have found creative solutions for supporting their business. While there is no predicting when crisis will strike, the most successful Procurement teams are uniquely positioned to help the business weather uncertainty in three critical ways.
1. Driving Cost Savings Through Strategic Partnerships
Many businesses are focusing on preserving cash and keeping spend to a minimum. Procurement leaders are able to achieve this with technology-enabled supplier management strategies. As supply chains continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, successful sourcing teams rely on technology to drill down into their suppliers and determine which are strategic partners and which are not.
With these partners identified, sourcing leaders are able to strengthen their relationships and work with their suppliers to come to mutually beneficial solutions like renegotiated minimums or extended payment terms. The power of human connection in supplier relationships cannot be overstated as having stronger relationships with suppliers typically results in better outcomes for their business.
2. Encouraging Enterprise-Wide Alignment with Increased Collaboration
Even for the most organized teams, adjusting to remote work is no easy task. According to a recent Gartner study, 50% of procurement professionals believe that it is likely or highly likely that remote work will become the norm long after the crisis ends. Sourcing teams with collaboration technologies like team chat, videoconferencing, and document-sharing are able to update stakeholders, communicate with suppliers, and even complete RFx events–from anywhere.
Remote collaboration capabilities also encourage engagement and alignment. If one core theme has emerged from our conversations with procurement professionals, it’s that empathy is the only way to combat a crisis. With real-time collaboration technology, sourcing teams can strengthen their relationships not only with the business, but with each other and their suppliers as well.
3. Setting The Business Up for Long-Term Success
Sourcing and Procurement are in the unique position to ensure that their business not only recovers from the pandemic, but thrives. Teams that have complete visibility into their sourcing pipeline are able to prioritize initiatives, understand timelines, and allocate resources to the most strategic projects. In addition to their pipeline, sourcing teams that have a single source of truth for their supplier and contract data can better prepare for the future by understanding their obligations and staying ahead of surprise renewals.
Lastly, sourcing and procurement teams can self-assess to better understand the bottlenecks in their processes and work to become more agile organizations. Procurement teams in all industries have been pushed to work harder, smarter, and faster than previously thought possible. Those equipped with technology have helped their business convert to fully remote operations in a matter of days. Agility will become the determining factor for successful enterprises in the coming quarters, and procurement teams need streamlined systems to drive massive business impact.
Procurement Leaders are Stepping Up
Procurement and sourcing teams across all industries have risen to the challenges of COVID-19, using technology to partner with their suppliers, communicate with remote teams, and ensure business continuity despite uncertainty.
Want to know how sourcing leaders in your industry are responding to crisis with creativity? Join us for one of our Strategic Sourcing Think Tanks. Chat with fellow sourcing professionals and brainstorm innovative ways for you and your team to better support your business through the current crisis and far into the future.