Harvard Business Review: 4 Ways Procurement Is Evolving in 2021 and Beyond

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A tumultuous year of change has highlighted the need for enterprise-wide digital acceleration. Yet, in a study by Harvard Business Review, 92% of procurement leaders described their digital processes as less than best-in-class going into the pandemic. 

With these digital limitations, procurement teams faced incredible challenges, including managing volatile demand, disrupted supply chains, and disjointed remote collaboration as stay-at-home orders spread across geographies. In the blink of an eye, procurement teams were tasked with sourcing scarce personal protective equipment (PPE), supporting a more diverse supplier ecosystem, and ensuring business continuity—all while mitigating risk and cost to the business. 

Enterprises increasingly turned to their sourcing teams for guidance on how best to navigate uncertainty, unveiling a new future for the office of procurement. And while the office of procurement was steadily gaining traction as a strategic business partner, the global pandemic—coupled with social justice movements and worldwide disruption—has dramatically expedited the rise of procurement, propelling it to the forefront of enterprise strategy. As journalist Fareed Zakaria noted, “the biggest effect of COVID-19 has been to accelerate trends that were already underway.” 

To keep pace with this accelerated timeline, procurement teams must be empowered to do their work better, faster, and smarter

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