A staggering 97 per cent of global organisations experienced supply chain disruptions because of COVID-19 – which is going to change procurement forever in the future.
Supply chain and procurement leaders Procurious recently released the ‘How Now? Supply Chain Confidence Index‘ which collated responses from 600 supply chain and procurement professionals from around the globe.
The sentiment was almost unanimous, with just 18 of the respondents saying they did not experience any disruptions.
The How Now survey revealed that declining demands for goods and services was the leading cause for the supply chain disruptions (31 per cent) followed by a lack of available supply because of production downtime and shutdowns (26 per cent), logistics and transport delays (21 per cent) and capacity and production issues linked to travel, social and work restrictions (19 per cent).
While almost all supply chain and procurement operations have been impacted by COVID-19, the good news is that most of them were up to the challenge.
“Many survey respondents reported that responding to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic was no harder than their regular day job,”
“Only 1 per cent of the professionals said they felt “frozen” by the enormity of the challenge,” Procurious founder Tania Seary said.
But while supply chains were able to weather the storm, it remains unclear whether the biggest challenges still lie ahead.
The respondents were evenly split with their COVID-19 predictions, with half believing things would peak in June or soon after while the other half believe it is too soon to predict the longterm impacts.
But another area where all supply chain and procurement professionals were aligned was the need for change moving forward.
As restrictions across many countries are lifted and life seemingly starts to go back to normal, most people could be forgiven for thinking that COVID-19 infections were on the decline.
After all, New Zealand recently declared itself free of coronavirus in June before two cases were quarantined after arriving from overseas.
Crowds are returning to sporting events, pubs and restaurants are re-opening and many other restrictions are being relaxed.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 7,941,791 confirmed cases globally and 434,796 deaths (correct as of June 17) and the infection rate is rising, despite restrictions being lifted.
June 13 saw the highest daily number of recorded infections with 142,672 new cases and the trend is still angling upwards.
While these numbers are cause for concern (especially with restrictions lifting globally), there is also renewed hope of a vaccine.
American biotech company Moderna announced on June 11 that they have a COVID-19 vaccine candidate ready to advance to Phase 3 of human testing. This is the last phase before consumer release and 70-90 per cent of drugs that reach this stage of testing are ultimately successful.
The vaccine candidate is called mRNA-1273 and 30,000 people will be involved in the study, some receiving a placebo. These trials can take 1-2 years to complete, but efforts are being made to fast track this process.
There are also two other groups that have reached phase II of testing, one a collaboration between AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and the other a union between Chinese company CanSino Biological and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.
With hard data unavailable and mixed speculation on when the height of the crisis will hit, supply chain and procurement professionals are taking no chances.
Huge shifts towards new innovations, technologies and strategies are expected to be rolled out in the coming months and post-pandemic to help protect the industry from future disruptions along with this the need for scrutiny around business costs, to drive savings, lends towards scrutiny of system costs, and more efficiency.
Almost 40 per cent of respondents said they play to expand their supply base, 34 per cent want to move away from global suppliers and adopt a more local network and 21 per cent will increase their inventory levels.
Spending on technology and innovations is expected to be prioritised on predictive analytics, with almost half of all professionals surveyed saying it will be a priority.
Which means more industry professionals are likely to turn to e-procurement to deliver these predictive analytics and much, much more.
Online Procurement System was designed to provide a cost-effective, end-to-end solution through an intuitive e-procurement platform that includes detailed data analytics.
Being modular in design also allows for configuration to align with standard business practice, along with the ability to integrate into existing backend systems.
For those looking to manage and mitigate the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic – as well as future proof against other disruptions – OPS has powerful analytics available at your fingertips, as well as being integrated into the largest supplier database in Australia, ICN Gateway with over 80,000 suppliers.
The system includes the ability to identify local suppliers as well as the ability to post opportunities as a buyer, including EOI’s, RFQ’s and RFx. The information available includes detailed analytics on each supplier, their offices, products and services, as well as a list of certifications and accreditations, and previous project experience to name a few.
Having access to this data allows easy mitigation of any disruptions with clear visibility on the talent available, the cost, restrictions and much more.