Thinkers360 2021 Predictions are member-sourced from our opt-in B2B thought leader and influencer community with 25M+ followers on social media combined. The 2021 Predictions for Procurement are part of a series to provide actionable insights for business and technology executives.
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We asked a selection of our Thinkers360 global thought leaders and influencers about their predictions for procurement in 2021. Here’s what they told us…
What are your predictions for procurement in 2021?
I predict that in 2021, the two ‘hemispheres’ of procurement – cost savings and value creation – will finally coexist in harmony. Rather than being the result of procurement’s internal elevation or expansion, it will be as a result of the extreme pressure being put on companies to remain profitable while staying competitive in the shadow of the pandemic. Procurement is entering into this time of pressure as carbon, and will emerge as diamonds.
– Kelly Barner, Owner, Managing Director at Buyers Meeting Point, LLC
In 2021, we will be embracing the Intelligent Procurement era, embedded intelligence will be used to capture data in the various procurement functions and activities and will be augmented with the market intelligence as well as the community data and generate automated insights about the best next action. Besides, this analysis is expected to trigger a series of recommendations that can leverage forecasts and “what if scenarios” with various modeling algorithms and high number of variables to empower the procurement professionals to take the best decisions.
– Amenallah Reghimi, Vice President of Product Management at JAGGAER
Procurement Networks Needed to Navigate COVID and Beyond
The tension between responsiveness and responsibly consuming is always front of mind for me, and how brands and tech vendors are able to bridge this value-action gap. As the world continues to navigate COVID, I think the biggest trend will center around digital supply networks and nuances of ecosystem sensing, simply put smart, reliable sourcing intelligence and figuring out with a strong degree of accuracy where your stuff is in an e2e environment. Multi-enterprise business networks that use single information models and convey one source of the truth will shape 2021 and beyond. Now, if you ask me about beyond 2021, my answer would be all things sustainability, but this requires a longer purview, long term commitments, and investment.
– Sheri Hinish, Founder at SupplyChainQueen & Supply Chain Revolution Podcast
Procurement post covid will be tasked with continuing to deliver the rapid agile responses that it has been able to do for organisations during the pandemic. No longer will it be acceptable for procurement to talk about lengthy processes when it has been shown that we can be responsive. The increased adoption of technology will be needed and this in turn will allow procurement to begin to shift into broader endeavours such as mapping, and managing supply chain risk and transparency, developing local and regional supply chains as risks have been identified, and sustainability and purpose. The evolution of the procurement professional will be one tasked with analysing interpreting data and taking action to drive supplier relationships in mutually beneficial ways. Procurement will become driven by finding value over a period of time, rather than managing cost at a point in time. These areas of value will align to organisational objectives which include purpose, as procurement continues its evolution over the next few years to marrying the need to manage and develop suppliers and supply chains with purpose driven objectives of the organisation.
– Gordon Donovan, Intelligent Spend Evangelist at SAP
Procurement organizations, if they are smart, will capitalize on the goodwill created in 2020 by all the work done to tactically keep businesses running. What’s the open item, the action you think is right for the business but hasn’t gotten any traction from management yet? Leverage the new relationships you’ve created and get the support you need to make it happen. A good idea is a good idea forever. Sometimes business conditions just have to align. As business returns to normal, now is the right time.
– Joanna Martinez, Speaker | Consultant | Advisor | Digital Enthusiast at Supply Chain Advisors LLC
Marketing procurement will become a priority in 2021 and will be involved early in the sourcing process so they can provide benefits beyond cost savings. Marketing is often the largest spend that procurement does not manage. Marketing stakeholders and procurement professionals don’t often get along, which makes collaboration difficult. Marketing often works in a silo with little to no interaction with procurement. This is going to change.
– Sarah Scudder, President at Real Sourcing Network (RSN)
A Collaborative Procurement Leadership with Suppliers and Business Partners. It will help to continue building the resilience acquired after the disruption in 2020, pivoting for agile and effective responses through restructured supply chains with lower risk levels. Also, it will enable innovation through Supplier ecosystems, as a power to spark change in Organizations investing for sustained competitive advantages.
– Cristian Lienas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Mirihi
Procurement professionals will be given a huge opportunity in 2021 to impact certain categories such as Travel, Meetings, and Entertainment. We all saw a dramatic decrease in demand in 2020, which set the stage to more easily implement policy changes prior to the demand returning (over the next couple of years). Procurement professionals have the opportunity to take advantage of this drastic change in environment to ensure policies are updated or revised, spend is kept weighted towards virtual events, and then leverage any increase in demand with preferred suppliers.
– Dana Small, Founder / CEO at Ms Category Management
In 2021, I predict there will be further scrutiny of spend data to drive cost savings in every possible area. This, in turn, will lead to many data cleansing/classification projects as organisations realise they have dirty data and are unable to get accurate reporting and analytics. This will also be driven by digitisation and automation of processes, however, I have to add a word of caution here – if your data is not accurate before you embark on this process, the results will be inaccurate, misleading and potentially disastrous.
– Susan Walsh, Founder at The Classification Guru
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