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It’s a great time to be in procurement

By Dr. Elouise Epstein · May 10, 2021

The procurement function stands at the precipice of a new decade, one that will be punctuated by endless macro disruptions, massive technological innovation and a new generation of professionals. It’s an era of uncertainty. Institutions created after World War II (such as the United Nations, North American Treaty Organization and the European Union) long provided a stable operating and legal foundation on which to conduct business—but those institutions are now imperiled. Indeed, governments and global institutions once addressed intellectual property protection, R&D, security, financial stability and risk, but now businesses likely must put greater efforts into all of these areas.

As COVID-19 demonstrated, businesses need to build extensible, flexible and resilient supply chains that can adapt locally or globally based on changing political and economic conditions. Yet it’s a challenging time to work in operations because many enterprises seem more focused today on the commercial side of their business, in pursuit of earnings targets and short-term profit.

Nevertheless, the procurement profession has matured from people who simply ended up there to a new generation of motivated, highly capable difference makers. This new generation is hyper-networked and prone to collective success beyond the four walls of an individual enterprise. They no longer see business as a zero-sum game of information hoarding, posturing and arrogance. Part of this change can be attributed to the fact that procurement organizations are far more diverse and inclusive than they have ever been in the past. This internal change of generations and cultures—as much as external events such as hurricanes or pandemics—should prompt leaders to question whether traditional “best practices” and “best-in-class” templates remain relevant.

Read the full article on Supply Chain Management Review


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