Procurement Trends to Watch for in 2021
Many firms will have had to let staff go, and existing staff will have to cope. A solution when it comes to procurement seems to be recruiting for the short term. Temporary employees may not have the skills required. Management must find a way for their staff to work more smartly rather than pushing them too hard if they no longer have a procurement specialist.
Time management will be an ideal place to start. There is no reason why some of this cannot be done remotely. Technology has to be brought into use to streamline administration and cut back on manual processes.
Getting the most from their money
Cash flow can still be tight, so money should not be wasted. Centralization will be the keyword for many companies. All departments should know what is happening to ensure no duplication of work or spending. There should be no grey areas when it comes to who can spend and how much. The purchasing policy must be adhered to.
There are three main areas to concentrate on. New businesses may not have sufficient guidelines, while more established ones need to cover the staff's responsibilities that may have gone. The one responsible for analyzing spend needs to be on top of their game. Existing contracts should not go over budget, and with new ones, limits must be set. Once a reliable procurement policy is in place, it will last into the future. Contractors can be evaluated, and new contracts could be financially beneficial when in place.
Streamline as much as you can
Once you start to streamline, you will be able to pull away from many day-to-day problems. A big problem is when you must be firefighting. Staff needs to be pushing ahead, not sorting out problems from the past. The procurement professional should be looking at procurement rather than dealing with problems in other business parts.
Limiting the number of processes to be followed will be of great benefit. If there is an easy way to do something, then do it. Purchasing software will allow this as many issues can be dealt with in minutes and remotely.
Working in partnership
Procurement is to work closely with finance. Budgets can be agreed upon, and cost-effective plans put in place. It is another area where training is essential -they must know each other’s role. Once this happens, they can factor in capital expenditure; get the best prices and limit each area's spending.
It is where the plans will succeed or fail. Spending must be under control, and everyone must be on board. The process of spending goes throughout the business. The technology will let the owners see where the problem is once they know they know where to work.
This, however, should be the beginning, not the end. Procurement trends to watch for in 2021 should be continuous training and analysis as this will show continued improvement. Change must be expected, and all must learn to adapt.