While the novel coronavirus pandemic is still very much ongoing across the U.S., vaccine distribution and declining testing needs are finally starting to signal that risk is falling. As such, many businesses in the logistics sector — and particularly professionals specializing in procurement — may see a big chance to make themselves more effective at a time when opportunity to change seems to be presenting itself.

Certainly, many companies already altered their procurement strategies and other efforts around them because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and as things get back to something resembling pre-pandemic conditions, there is a unique opportunity, according to Spend Matters. In some ways, readjusting presents procurement pros with a blank slate on which they can create the best possible strategy going forward, including crafting new processes, right-sizing their teams with all the best members and generally getting a better handle on what makes their procurement department so effective.

Set yourself up for success in the new year.Set yourself up for success in the new year.

With that in mind, experts largely say it may be a good idea to make sure sourcing efforts are as nailed-down as possible, and that you have a strong relationship with all the suppliers you will rely on going forward under what you might call your "newest new normal," the report said. Generally speaking, the more you can do to get more data and share it with everyone in your supply chain (expecting the same from them), the better off you're all going to be.

Building sustainability
Another critical component of creating a strong supply chain and procurement processes as the pandemic winds down is focusing on sustainability, which is highly favored by many people in the industry, according to Source Today. After all, sustainability isn't just a nice buzzword that helps companies create a market for environmentally conscious customers — it's also important to finding new ways to operate efficiently and, in the end, save money.

Something as simple as looking at packaging processes today could help your company identify new avenues to simultaneously reduce waste and save money, without compromising quality or other aspects of your procurement processes, the report said. Things that worked well even five years ago might not be as cutting-edge and effective as they could be for your bottom line.

Assessing roles
Finally, as mentioned above, you might want to get the right procurement team members in place, and these could speak to how the role of purchasing has evolved in recent years, according to Material Handling & Logistics. This could include having pros on the team who can advise other departments within your organization and your supply chain partners about best practices, and drive innovation on all sides of the relationship to ensure everyone continually puts their best foot forward.

Broadly speaking, now is certainly the time for your company to look at its past procurement efforts and find ways to power out of the pandemic mindset so you're ready for the opportunities that present themselves for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.

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