Written by: Donna Kirk – The Pro Forum Community of Practice

The last year has seen unmitigated stress placed on supply chains throughout the world which in turn has made procurements far more complicated than they have ever been before. Through increased demand, disruptions in the manufacturing process and border restrictions procurement professionals have had their work cut out for them navigating these new waters and discovering new and creative ways to strategically solve these issues.

Issues are:

  • Finding a way to increase the agility of existing systems and at the same time managing increased risk. Short supply can see the requirement for faster decision making. To address this, decision making, or delegations may be changed – which can lead to increased risk.
  • Risk is a mainstay of procurement – it’s always a challenge. Market risks, potential frauds, cost, quality, and delivery risks constitute the most common type of risks. Additionally, compliance risks like anti-corruption, policy adherence, and more keep your procurement leaders up all night.  Increasing time spent on managing the risk from the fall out of Covid will continue well into the future.
  • Increases in negative feedback – delayed supply, disruption to staffing, overspends and general lack of understanding sees procurement professionals having to spend more time being transparent and explaining decisions more fully, more often and to more people.
  • More immediate needs – Purchases that are made outside the defined procurement process because of an immediate need caused by an external event can in turn create uncontrolled spending. This can be expensive for businesses. When items purchased cannot be justified using capital outlay or material inventory, the resulting loss of revenue and control is a significant challenge for organisations of all sizes to tackle. This applies to both the private and the public sector.

Fortunately, the procurement and project professionals of the world reacted quickly to these challenges and helped many businesses and organisations through this crisis enabling many to keep their doors open.

People working in, projects, procurement and contracts have taken on a more defined strategic approach to complete the work and the challenges in front of them. In NZ and Australia this has resulted in many receiving higher renumeration packages as their perceived worth has changed.

Covid isn’t over and we cannot relax thinking we have done all we can – we must continue to improvise, think strategically and be agile in our approach to supporting organisations and businesses.

Markets will recover, projects will continue and as key personnel in constantly changing environments, professionals like yourself will continue to navigate and provide support and guidance for communities, businesses and governments.

Reference – CIPS_Hays_Australia_New_Zealand_2021_Salary_Guide_PressQuality.pdf

NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter, and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. The content must not be relied upon as legal, technical, financial or other professional advice.