“I think there are lessons we’d love to share from how Microsoft responded to the pandemic, and how we helped empower our customers. It is about getting the best out of what you have. So, for example, you have to consider not only how to support your business, but also how to impact your partners and suppliers to improve their businesses at the same time. In some cases, where we bought things from abroad, we had to shift to sourcing locally. That means we have to create new engagements locally, who could learn from our suppliers overseas, and learn how to provide for us locally.
Like all companies, the main questions we had to ask ourselves were: How do you minimise the risks for the company, and how do you help your supplier at the same time? By helping empower them, and how they can work with us. There are many initiatives from Microsoft during this pandemic that showed how the company looks at our partnerships, differently - particularly throughout this great change. It is less logistics, more about connections and people and how to come out of this uncertainty.
Forging a path for the post-pandemic world will be the biggest challenge for procurement in the years ahead, Nuhamovici says, not just for Microsoft, but in the sector at large. “The innovation comes in technology, by leveraging systems, but it also has to come from ideas,” Nuhamovici says
“That comes from partnerships and pooling those ideas to pull the market ahead,” he says. “Once you sign an innovative contract with a supplier, it becomes the common practice for the supplier because they learned how to do it. Now they can copy or adjust this idea with future contracts in the market. And this is how you eventually lead and develop procurement to be better positioned.
“It's a challenge, and that’s a good thing, because when you're being challenged, that is how you improve your ideas. If everything goes smoothly, you never improve, and that to me is quite a beautiful thing.”
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