2021 saw the industry face many challenges. Procurement teams were tasked with mitigating the fallout from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic including localised closures and logistics nightmares.
In addition, shipping rates drastically increased alongside fuel costs, many countries also experienced truck driver shortages, extreme weather conditions, and semiconductor shortages, while changes to government policies are shifting the foundations for organisations with new rules and regulations.
“That is a lot to digest and account for in 2022,” commented Bid-Ops.
Last year (2021) the top seven trends outlined by Bid-Ops included: having a digital strategy in place; embracing the cloud; being prepared for unexpected and increased volatility; agility; building deeper supplier relationships; being prepared for increased focus on areas such as sustainability; and artificial intelligence (AI).
Procurement and sourcing trends for 2022
Disruption and volatility - the new normal
A trend that is unlikely to go away any time soon, disruption and volatility appear on Bid-Ops’ list for a third year, fueled by the pandemic. While this trend may reduce in 2022, new variants may continue to cause further disruptions, alongside geopolitical tensions, rising energy prices, and extreme climate change.
“In other words, disruption and volatility aren’t going away in 2022; they are set to be the new normal,” said Bid-Ops.
Following on from disruption and volatility is agility. With the industry facing talent shortages and new regulations, Procurement teams will need to be agile in order to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing conditions.
Transitioning to the cloud
Responding to disruptions and ensuring agility, many procurement functions are increasing their investment in the cloud. “In 2022, expect more companies to adopt cloud-based procurement solutions. These are easy to deploy, new features can be rolled out almost instantly, and anyone with an internet connection can have full access,” commented Bid-Ops.
Alongside cloud technology, procurement functions are also turning to predictive solutions to weather the disruptions. “Procurement teams are going to be challenged in 2022. The difficult part for many will be avoiding the pitfall of reacting to what happens. Look for the shift to proactive, strategic sourcing to be one of the top procurement and sourcing trends in 2022,” said Bid-Ops.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Now that we have cloud and predictive procurement technology, next on the list is artificial intelligence (AI).
“Tracking a virtually unlimited number of variables (many of which are interconnected) while dealing with huge volumes of data is incredibly time-consuming and error-prone. That wasn’t good enough in 2021, and it’s not going to be good enough in 2022,” said Bid-Ops.
In these disruptive and complex times, procurement will need to make critical decisions quickly that could impact the business for months to follow. With this in mind, AI offers a competitive advantage for procurement teams.
Know your suppliers
“2020 and 2021 taught us the value of strong supplier relationships. It will continue to be critical for companies to know their suppliers in 2022,” Commented Bid-Ops. With shortages expected to continue procurement professionals will need to continue to build strong relationships to ensure they achieve their KPIs and high performance.
A trend as old as business itself. Procurement teams will continue to be under pressure to cut costs and deliver savings. “The good news is emerging procurement solutions and technology are making it easier to do so,” said Bid-Ops.
To find out more, visit Bid-Ops.