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Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

By March 9, 2023May 1st, 2023No Comments

Procurement has always managed spend and suppliers in the short term with the longer term goals of the organization in mind, but, over the last few years, it has gotten more challenging to do so in a cohesive way. Short term changes and disruptions are constantly pulling them away from the steps they planned to take towards bigger picture objectives. 

On February 28th, we welcomed Yatin Anand, Principal and Procurement Leader at KPMG, and Michael van Keulen (“MVK”), Chief Procurement Officer at Coupa, to join us for an AOP Live session focused on building business resilience for short term ability AND long-term growth. They explored each distinct timeframe – today and ‘tomorrow’ – and provided their honest perspectives and advice about how to keep the two aligned.

In the Short Term…

There is no end to the distractions that are justifiably occupying procurement’s time. Macro forces like inflationary pressure and a looming recession are omnipresent, as is the pressure to ensure business continuity by warding off material shortages and supply chain disruptions. The combined effect for procurement teams without a strong future orientation is that people can easily lose focus. 

There is even evidence that some ESG programs are being impacted in the short term. This is not to say that sustainability and diversity are less important, just that keeping the operation running and remaining profitable are more important, relatively speaking.

In the Long Term…

Procurement wants to impact a number of factors that extend far beyond savings, and these results will take time to materialize. Increased product quality, improved innovation, and advancements in automation and digitization have to be achieved in steps but deliver returns over the long term. Perhaps the most important long term priorities are contributing to the company’s cash position and preserving key supplier relationships… both of which can be waylaid by reactionary short term decisions and approaches.

And Connecting It All Together: Data

Data does not lie – especially if it is high quality and available centrally. Data will ultimately tell the story and determine procurement’s success, both in the short term and the long term.

To watch the whole AOP Live session on demand, click here.

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