The first, sustainability…
“Procurement is very much a cold face when it comes to dealing with the challenge of reducing emissions and supply chains. So the term Scope 3 emissions is new for most people working in procurement, one that they are trying to get their heads around. Scope 3 refers to is the emissions that are produced by suppliers and in the production of goods or the delivery of services.
“Between 60 and 80% of a company's carbon emissions are Scope 3 emissions. So it's not sufficient to merely look at your own production processes and your electricity provider (Scope 1 and Scope 2) it's far more important to be looking at your Scope 3 emissions, and that task is being handed to procurement.
“To achieve this, procurement needs more advanced tools to have access to the levels of scope three emissions that suppliers are producing as well as more advanced sourcing tools so that they can access alternatives and make trade-offs.
“We are seeing some companies already establishing their internal cost of carbon, and this is a trend we expect to continue. Most companies will also be moving to fixing values for their internal cost of carbon and using this as a measure for how they decide on which suppliers to contract with. To do this, you really need sourcing optimisation for sustainable procurement which is going to become a major trend in the industry because sourcing optimisation is all about finding trade-offs, and historically it's been trade-offs between cost and speed or cost and quality of goods or services. Now it will also be the trade-offs between cost and speed and sustainability. So sourcing optimisation allows you to assess the Scope 3 emissions of different vendors, but also bias in favour of greener alternatives.”
The second, talent…
“Another major trend that we're witnessing is the worldwide competition for talent. How can companies attract and retain talent? And the companies that tend to be attracting talent are those that have automated tactical and operational tasks. So individuals are attracted to companies where the work that they're engaged to do is more challenging and strategic.
“So if we look at procurement, a major trend we are starting to see emerge is this automation of operational and tactical tasks. So sourcing automation is becoming increasingly popular because companies that have repetitive processes for engaging suppliers and if a bot can do that job as well or better, then automate it. So automation is a major trend that is occurring because of the underlying intense competition for talent that exists.”