Agility more important than cost savings, say CPOs

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
25 March 2021

Nine in 10 procurement executives say being agile is more important than cost savings, according to a report.

A survey of 200 senior procurement and sourcing execs at firms with revenues of $200m or more found 96% felt agility was more important than savings for the bottom line in the long run, and 42% felt strongly this was the case.

The report, by Wakefield Research for supplier data platform Tealbook, said: “Procurement leaders know they must act fast and are taking action now, not only to weather the storm of future disruptions but to position their companies to capitalise on supplier innovation.

“Most importantly, procurement leaders need to not only learn from the difficulties of the past; they need to reorient into a new era of data-driven procurement strategy.”

The report said 72% of respondents were concerned their supplier intelligence had not significantly improved during the pandemic, with the top concern being missing out on supplier innovations (30%).

Other concerns arising from a lack of data were compromised IT integrity, falling behind the competition, not being able to assess or improve supplier diversity, and not being able to determine ROI.

The report said 57% of procurement professionals said their supplier data required manual entry, with a “shocking” 35% of execs manually entering the data themselves.

“For so many procurement leaders to be personally involved with this level of effort and to still find their data lacking points clearly to the need for a data foundation to enable a quick and effective response in the face of a crisis,” said the report.

Stephany Lapierre, CEO of Tealbook, said: “Covid-19 was a wake-up call to organisations around the world. Without a solid data foundation in place, the next big disruption could be even more disastrous for supply chains.”

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