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The Psychological Long Tail of Supply Chain Disruption

By February 21, 2023July 21st, 2023No Comments

Traditionally, procurement has been measured on their ability to generate savings and bring spend under management. That has led to all kinds of disagreements about whether these metrics truly capture procurement’s impact and whether they incentivize procurement to prioritize what the business is truly looking for.

But what if procurement can’t find what the company needs – regardless of the price or spend category? That brings debates about metrics to a sudden, screeching halt.

Art of Procurement recently ran a LinkedIn snap poll to find out which short term issues are most likely to interfere with procurement’s efforts to achieve their long term vision. Supply availability was far and away the winner, with 40 percent of respondents selecting it.

This comes as a bit of a surprise, since news of supply chain disruptions has been less frequent in recent months. It is also possible that procurement is looking back as well as forward with this vote. That raises the question about how procurement’s experience with supply shortages over the last few years will change strategy and tactics going forward. 

Although the Great Depression ended in 1939, many Americans kept their savings under their mattress for the rest of their life. There are some experiences that affect us so deeply that they change how we interpret future circumstances and make decisions. Will issues with supply availability in 2020-2022 impact how procurement writes contracts, manages inventory, and builds supplier relationships in the future? Only time will tell.

On February 28th, we will be joined by Yatin Anand, Principal and Procurement Leader at KPMG, and Michael van Keulen (MVK), Chief Procurement Officer at Coupa, to discuss just that. Although procurement needs to support the business’ agility in the short term, we can’t allow ourselves to become so risk-averse that we stunt longer term growth.


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