In just about any aspect of business, to be truly successful, you have to be proactive about planning for both the short and long term. That's certainly true when it comes to your procurement strategies. While it's not always easy to account for every possibility in your plans, it is nonetheless important to have strategies and contingencies laid out on an ongoing basis. With that in mind, it's time to consider what your procurement plans are for 2021.

For the most part, a lot of this work was laid out (at least in part) over the final few months of 2020, and that's instructive, according to ProcureAbility. After all, the majority of last year was more or less unprecedented in a globally connected business world, and supply chains were repeatedly shocked by the various developments around the novel coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, companies have plenty of time to strategize for operating in a world still gripped by the outbreak, and potentially in the second half of the year, a post-COVID world.

A recent online poll the company ran found that 34% of respondents prioritized building a pipeline for saving money in 2021 over the final months of the year, while others worked on efforts like hitting remaining goals for last year, implementing technological and process-related improvements and renewing contracts with supply chain partners.

Get ready for the entirety of 2021.Get ready for the entirety of 2021.

What does it take?
When you're putting together any strategy, for any aspect of your company, you need to have the best possible data at your disposal, and that information should inform whatever decisions you make, according to Kissflow. That means compiling data from your own business operations, information about your supply chain and the economy, as well as your company's finances, then synthesizing it all into action items and projections.

For instance, you should have a fairly clear picture of procurement costs, business needs, and market conditions all at the same time, and those data points should inform realistic objectives for the next month, quarter and full year, the report said. After that, you can craft all the right policies for your employees to follow and tailor your workflows and software utilization to help you achieve those goals on an ongoing basis. It's not necessarily an easy task, but it is relatively straightforward.

Getting everybody onboard
Once you know what the objectives are and how you will reach them, it's vital to communicate them effectively to not only the people within your organization, but also potentially relevant stakeholders outside it, according to HCMWorks. Think of it like a trickle-down effect: Your executives put the plan into place and communicate it to managers, who then pass it along to staff, who then pass pertinent information to your supply chain partners. In this way, everyone is on the same page and able to act and react in a way that helps you meet those short- and long-term goals.

This is certainly a process that should be continuous and ongoing, but if you haven't laid out your entire roadmap for 2021 quite yet, now is the time to start.

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