80% of firms say Covid has spurred innovation

3 July 2020

Eight in 10 (80%) firms believe the coronavirus pandemic has spurred innovation as businesses turn to new tools to enable remote working, according to a survey. 

In the third snap poll conducted by SM and CIPS, two-thirds (65.8%) of respondents said remote working forced by the outbreak had led to the increased adoption of digital procurement tools. 

Procurement professionals noted remote working had had a positive impact by improving communication. Three-fifths (61.3%) said remote working had improved communication with their team, while almost half (49%) said they had increased communication with suppliers to manage the impact of the virus. 

However, nearly a quarter (23%) added that remote working had increased the risk of cybersecurity issues and for almost a fifth (18%) team communications had got worse.

Planning for a safe return to offices in the future is having an impact on spend. Nine in 10 (91%) said there had been increased spending on personal protective equipment and 84% were spending more on additional services such as cleaning and facilities management.

Half (51%) said it would quite difficult to adhere to social distancing rules and half (52%) were paying, or expected to pay, up to 20% more for goods and services. A tenth (11%) were paying up to 50% more.

Respondents were divided on how long it will take for their supply chains to return to pre-Covid levels of activity. Almost a quarter (23%), believed it would take up to three months, 28% believed it would take up to six months and a further 28% believed it would take a year. Two-fifths (38%) said the impact of coronavirus was getting worse, slightly more than the 36% who said it was getting better.

Key actions being taken by firms to help rebuild supply chains included seeking alternative suppliers (62%), building inventory (42%), altering payment terms (41%) and reshoring supply chains (31%). 

Over three-quarters (77%) said supplier vulnerability and risk exposure was a key area they were likely to monitor going forward, followed by global disruptions that could influence supply chains (74%) and spend analysis to deliver cost efficiencies (53%). 

Most (68%) firms had no plans to dial back on sustainability initiatives, but 15% said initiatives were no longer feasible, citing cost as the main reason.

 Want to stay up to date with the news? Sign up to our daily bulletin.

LATEST
JOBS
Reading
GBP50000 - GBP55000 per annum +
Bramwith Consulting
London
GBP60000 - GBP70000 per annum + Excellent package
Bramwith Consulting
SEARCH JOBS
CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates
GO TO CIPS KNOWLEDGE