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Procurement ecosystem – an important factor of growth

by | February 15, 2022

We’ve been constantly challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic to accept that change is a key constant in life. Our lives back in spring 2020 looked different than in the summer of 2021 and it seems like the beginning of 2022 has come up with a brand-new identity. All these changes mean a lot of work to adapt and reposition for companies, teams and careers.

The importance procurement gained during the pandemic increased visibility and respect for this function, and led to more business professionals and graduates wanting to start a career in this field. On the other hand, procurement leaders who have gotten through the pandemic storm will be highly valued for many years from now on.

Procurement is no longer considered an old fashioned, unexciting career choice, and procurement professionals are getting more and more recognition within businesses. Read the success stories and adventures of some of Xoomworks’ procurement professionals, and get in touch with us if you want to be part of the story.

Procurement, as a function, has never been through a time when it has been more in the spotlight than it is nowadays. Companies all over the world are facing diverse and numerous pressures like surging inflation, supply chain disruptions, or geopolitical pressures.

Luckily, procurement has some key advantages which, if used properly, can help companies gain a competitive advantage during this period: invest in automation, digitise and automate procurement, build long-lasting supplier relationships, reduce supply chain lead times. Most of these are reactions to a changing business environment. The global economy has shifted, and this is more of a long-term change rather than strategic moves to deal with short-term disruptions. One of the conclusions we can draw from this is that, more than ever, procurement teams have become strategic players in reshaping business models.

The procurement ecosystem has always been a people-centered structure. The novelty of the 21st century is that we can see a shift, to a world where machines and humans collaborate to improve the potential of both parties. The result of this collaboration is more efficient and sustainable procurement processes that can deliver better business outcomes. The fast development of automation and digitisation have a significant impact on procurement roles, as it can significantly improve productivity and enable people to focus on more strategic tasks. No matter how digitisation and automation impact you, the reality is that technology is causing a a shift in the procurement function, and therefore a need for upskilling for your procurement teams.

As digital fluency will become an essential skill for many roles, including procurement ones, digital transformation will only be successful if CPOs will adapt to new leadership styles.

Over the last 2 years CPOs have gained a more strategic position and broader exposure within their organisations.. In order to maintain this upward momentum, it is required to reevaluate procurement capabilities. Combining this view with a look at the forces that are disrupting the business world (uncertainties related to Covid-19 pandemic, sustainability challenges, innovations and new technologies, inflation, supply chain issues, etc) we are led to assume that this point is a critical one for the procurement function.

The upward path of procurement’s role has been speeding up during the Covid-19 pandemic. CPOs showed their ability to react to the many disruptions, by delivering growth through game-changing strategies. As priorities changed for most businesses from controlling the damage to restoring growth, it is time for modern procurement leadership to position the function as one of the most important factor of growth.