In some recent research, a survey of 500+ professionals reveals where procurement must focus to establish leadership and earn executive trust.
The article states:-
"The research also reveals that nearly two thirds of professionals have seen trust increase with the c-suite over the past three months. Similarly, more procurement leaders report having a seat at the executive table today compared to May, when we asked the same question as part of our Supply Chain Confidence Index."
Tania Seary, Founding Chairman of Procurious. “Procurement plays a critical role in navigating the uncertainty we face today. The function’s stellar performance opens the door for more – more recognition, trust, and opportunities to lead. It’s time to take advantage.”
The article goes on to say:-
"Procurement leaders looking to capitalise on this newfound opportunity should focus on delivering results that increase resiliency and continuity, and improve the bottom line. According to our research, the top three areas the c-suite wants procurement to contribute to are mitigating supply risk (70%), containing costs (69%) and driving business continuity (64%)."
The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same
I've been involved with Procurement for some 20 years and in that time, hasn't all research said this?
The thing that amazes me, is the way that social media has changed the world. It's changed society and it's changed the way we do business, but social isn't mentioned.
I even spoke that the last Procurious "Big Ideas Summit" just before lock down in March. Covid19 has accelerated Social and Digital, not placed it into reverse.
What data is there to back this up?
We Have Transformed In Work and Play on Social
In this report by Simon Kemp he outlines the extent that social media has become part of our lives. When I talk to people about social media I often hear people say "I heard that "Karen" left Facebook. This maybe true, while Karen left Facebook, millions of people are joining social media. The people are not just in sales and marketing, but in procurement, supply chain and innovation roles.
Linkedin have just announced there are now 706 million people on Linkedin. But what does this mean for us in procurement? Let's look at where we are with the internet.
Growth of the Internet
Simon Kemp research states
4.57 billion people around the world now use the internet, accounting for close to 60 percent of the world’s total population.
The global total grew by 346 million over the past 12 months, equating to year-on-year growth of more than 8 percent. On average, this means that roughly 11 new users come online for the first time every second since July 2019.
The internet and Social media isn't a fad and it's not going away, in fact usage is accelerating, and now a tipping point has been reached.
In fact Simon Kemp stated recently that 4 out of 10 of the global social media users, use social media for work related purposes.
Fact: Social Media Tipping Point
Simon points out that there are now more people on social media than not on social media.
Then There Was Covid19
Lenin said — 'There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.'
Covid19 has made a massive impact to this transition as the whole world has been forced to stay at home for months on end.
As the CEO of a global company, I've been amazed at how different parts of the world have been hit, exactly the same. Having calls with India, US, Peru, Singapore, Europe, etc, etc. The position is the same "we are on lock down, and we cannot go out". Many of us are starting to see us gradually come out of lock down and Simon Kemp says in his report
"Lockdowns may have been lifted across many countries, but many of the new digital behaviours that people adopted during confinement have endured, resulting in meaningful increases in various kinds of digital activity."
Lock down as accelerated so many things, whereas once we were told things HAD to happen face-to-face, all of a sudden it was not the case.
Church, scouts, piano lessons, choir practice, tap dancing lessons, visiting the doctor all of these things we were told had to take place face-to face. I remember a senior church figure in the UK telling everybody that while the Government had told everybody to stay at home the churches would remain open. He soon had to backtrack.
This change of living and working practice is sticking!
The New Normal is Digital
So when Stéphanie Genin, vice president of global enterprise marketing at social media management firm Hootsuite said this, I wasn't surprised, are you?
“After weeks of adapting to Zoom parties, video appointments with doctors, online schooling, social distancing and tapping into social media for virtually everything, will people be happy to go back to their old ways of working and engaging with each other?”
she then goes on to ask.
“The answer will be no. Social media has been holding communities together and organisations will need to assess how to manage the new normal.”
Covid19 Has Changed How People Buy
How are Digital Supply Chain Teams Using Social Networks?
We are seeing a major shift in supply chain and procurement during the pandemic as people start connecting their digital supply chains with social networks.
High Performance Procurement with Social
High Performance Procurement and Supply Chain specialist are looking to looking to crowdsource insight from the market so they can provide business as usual, base procurement advice, but in addition to that become business advisors to the business.
High Performance procurement teams are looking "outside in", and are talking to new and existing suppliers. Finding people with insight that can help. Let's not forget that forward thinking sellers are not "pitching" or saying "buy my stuff because it's great", they know there is no differential in this. Salespeople today are providing insight and educating the buyer through "social selling". This is where Procurement can start moving out from behind "the curtains" of social and start being more active. Why?
Because whilst communicating on social your should find new and innovative supplies and this will enable you to strip out cost from the procurement process. So what does High Performance in digital supply chain look like?
This is driving high performance in
Innovation - Businesses need to flex, innovate and even disrupt, procurement need to look for and collaborate with new innovative suppliers. Especially companies, where innovation is a major driver, such as oil and gas, life sciences, consumer packaged goods (CPG), etc.
Sustainability - As well as providing carbon efficiencies, companies need to be transparent about being anti slavery, anti child labour etc. Sustainability is key criteria for doing business. These subjects have a massive impact on supplier risk, it was only in July 2020 that BooHoo were accused of using slave labour to make their clothes.
Reputation - Purchasing and Supply Chain can no longer work in a silo it needs to manage its internal and external reputation. It needs to move from a cost centre to a profit centre.
Reduced cost - The pandemic has increased the need to take out cost, while at the same time taking into account the companies belief systems and culture with regard to transparency.
It's Social Networks That Are Driving Transformation in Procurement
Social networks can provide transformation in procurement and supply chain by bringing people together and creating conversations and communities. As well as providing a feedback loop between business and its suppliers.
It is the job of procurement and supply chain to find diverse people and suppliers and where do they hang out? On social.
How do you see social networks impacting digital supply chains and procurement?
Want to talk about how you can transform your procurement team, then contact me here
Furthermore, a resilient supply chain management strategy, which stems from supply chain planning, is critical for supporting a company's business strategy. The business strategy, which charts the overall direction of the company, is supported by operations - a supply chain element - as well as relationships with supply chain partners, including suppliers, distributors and customers. As the market becomes more competitive, these supply chain relationships become more critical. In addition, a solid supply chain management strategy can unlock value creation and competitive advantages for the organization.