Dear reader,

Welcome to this year’s edition of The Source, where you can find expert insights into procurement and supply chain management.

The past three years of disruption to the global economy and supply chains have forced business leaders to rethink both how we run our businesses and with whom we conduct business. However, we are optimistic about the opportunities that these changes represent. There has never been a better opportunity for procurement and supply chain functions to give their businesses a competitive advantage … and all solutions point to agility and value.

Procurement: It’s still all about cost … but the journey has changed takes us straight back to basics. It discusses what procurement is all about in a world where it faces increasingly complex challenges and is abound with buzzwords. Simon Whatson speaks to what “full-life cost” means, looking beyond price to total value. 

Total value also means ensuring that the right building blocks are in place to scale your business. Our client spotlight feature, Realigning procurement: Unite Group’s journey to unlock additional value, describes how Unite Students reshaped its procurement function during a rapid growth period to boost its mission to best serve the student housing market. 

Fifty-two percent of procurement leaders have seen their procurement headcount decrease significantly over the past two years, and 70% of procurement functions face greater expectations to deliver results on sustainability, diversity, or innovation compared to 12 months ago. Therefore, Teams, Talent, and People: Rebuilding and repositioning the procurement department is top priority for an increasing number of procurement functions. 

And yet why is it that Procurement is generally the last group to raise its hand for help? Departments like HR and Marketing do so effectively for functions like payroll and PR, so why not Procurement? We explore this conundrum more fully in Why won’t Procurement ask for the support it needs?

True procurement excellence requires a holistic assessment of what is working well and what needs to be improved, which allows for a defined, prioritized approach to addressing the gaps across key building blocks. Procurement Excellence in an increasingly complex world identifies what you need to consider to best navigate increasing supply complexity and evolving business drivers.

So, how do we build more resilient supply chains while continuing to keep costs down and ensuring continued profitability? Weathering the storm: How a differentiated supply chain can prepare you for global uncertainty explores why it’s important to take a more product-centric view of the world and build differentiated supply chains that serve different categories of products in different ways. 

Sustainability improvement has become an increasingly urgent topic of conversation with our clients and contacts over the last year, and we’re proud of the work we do together to reduce our impact on our planet. Last year, we had the opportunity to conduct research with Integrate to Zero on Controlling energy costs in an unpredictable market, and author Edward Cox presented this research on commercial consumer energy systems with the Integrate to Zero team at COP27.

And finally, we hope that we can lighten the mood with a tongue-in-cheek poke at The procurement manager: A day in the life. Yes, we’re mostly self-professed procurement and supply chain nerds at Efficio, but we can also make light of our idiosyncrasies – you might even relate to one or two of them.

Procurement and supply chain have been relentlessly driving solutions for global organizations, governments, and institutions throughout the last three years of disruption, and we are privileged to work alongside you to drive greater value as your partner in progress. 

We welcome discussions about your procurement and supply chain challenges, so please don’t hesitate to contact any of us to see how our expertise, insights, and technology-driven solutions can help your business forge forwards. 

Yours truly

Jens Pedersen, CEO

The source 10

Procurement: It’s still all about cost, but the journey has changed

ESG. Supply chain resilience. Digitalization. Words such as these are increasingly dominating conversations about procurement’s role and objectives. This represents a change from earlier popular perceptions of procurement, where the focus was on cost.

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