Procurement managers in just about every industry had a lot on their plate in the past year and a half, and there are still lingering issues that affect local, regional and global supply chains. That having been said, these decision-makers must start thinking about what their post-pandemic procurement strategies will look like, and how they will go from their current operations to that hoped-for approach to their jobs.

While the U.S. is certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic — and recent "Delta variant" infection numbers are clearly not encouraging — the end is potentially in sight, and procurement leaders have plenty of options for what lies ahead, according to Spend Matters. Prior to the pandemic, procurement was a crucial part of any organization but often not recognized as such. That likely isn't the case anymore, and the good news is when purchasing managers and team members speak up, others in the company are far more likely to listen.

With that level of organizational support, you can be more confident that your needs and concerns will be heard and addressed, the report said. Some of the changes you've made during the pandemic have likely already positioned your team well for a post-COVID future, but further tweaks will inevitably need to take place as well, and you have to be ready and willing to take those steps.

Crafting the right new procurement strategy might require a brief step back.Crafting the right new procurement strategy might require a brief step back.

What's next?
While you almost certainly spent much of 2020 in supply chain "response" mode and are now in "recovery" mode, looking to the future means you might have to take some steps back in the near term, according to Deloitte. To truly thrive, you face what may be considered a "reliance paradox" — your supply chain has to be resilient, and finding the right mix of strategies will likely take some experimentation. That, in turn, could briefly affect your overall supply chain operations, but everything you do should be pursued with the idea that you are insulating yourself from even greater difficulties in the future.

As long as your supply chain is highly visible and diversified, and you have a clearer understanding of your inventory and customer demand needs, you will likely be ready to handle any additional hiccups — even those that are highly disruptive to other businesses in your field, the report said.

Getting it right
For these reasons, McKinsey says you would be wise to focus on the following for boosting your supply chain resilience: rethink sourcing strategies by category, develop partnerships with better partners, accelerate data adoption and interpretation, and work to become more agile when the need arises.

The more you can do to bring all of your company's procurement efforts under a single, uniform strategy and department, the better off you will be when it comes to being able to meet all your needs post-pandemic — whenever that may be.

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