In Q1 of 2021, WBR Insights surveyed 100 Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) from across Europe to find out more about the challenges they’re facing in 2021 and the innovative solutions they are putting in place.
Over the past twelve months, the Covid-19 pandemic has radically disrupted supply chains, and in many cases forced businesses to adapt their operating models. To do so they have acted with agility and flexibility in order to keep their essential operations going, and then again as they adapted to new trading conditions or changing customer needs.
Procurement leaders have been right at the heart of this, helping to deliver business continuity while navigating change, and managing costs carefully while doing so. Likewise, they will be right at the forefront of supporting organisations as they come out of the crisis and move into the recovery phase. Our research amongst CPOs has found three areas that illustrate some of the ways procurement leaders are going about this.
1. Investing in innovation
Firstly, there is no let-up in embracing innovation. CPOs are continuing to shift towards digital and leveraging the rich data insights that this can offer them. In our research, 80% of CPOs said that the Covid-19 pandemic had not negatively affected their digital innovation strategy. They are pressing ahead in this area because they see the business-critical value it brings. Digital isn’t simply a nice-to-have, it’s essential.
2. Agility through data
As supply chains and operations have come under pressure over recent months, good quality digital data has become increasingly valuable in helping procurement teams identify ways to quickly evolve their activities. Cost, quality, compliance, and time came through from respondents again and again as some of the key metrics they are currently tracking closely to check the health of their procurement processes.
3. Strengthening supplier relationships
Many procurement professionals are helping to manage their business’ recovery by strengthening and deepening their relationships with suppliers, many of whom may be new partners. These strategic, collaborative supplier relationships will be crucial in the months ahead. CPOs need streamlined, digital-focused payment processes to support these supplier relationships and to help drive efficiencies and savings
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