Hackett Group Reveals 2021 Study on Key Procurement Issues

By Tom Swallow
Hackett Group has provided research on key issues from 2020, and how businesses can prepare for procurement digitisation of four key operational aspects...

Following a period of drastic change and compromise, organisations are better prepared to tackle difficult procurement processes.

But, there is still a lot for organisations to consider as they anticipate the release of restrictions across the globe. 

To understand what procurement leaders will need to be ready for in 2021, Hackett Group has provided research into the key issues that organisations will need to address as they progress through the year. 

The report explains that some respondents to the research still remain cautious for the future.

“41% believe conditions will stabilise by the second half of 2021, but 36% predict it will take longer.” the reports says. 

“Therefore, the crisis and its fallout will continue to shape procurement priorities in 2021 and beyond.”

Some of the key points the report has highlighted are - spend cost, risk, skills, and digital acceleration.

Spend Cost Reduction

It’s apparent from the report, even some of the most well-prepared companies are expecting a level of instability coming away from the pandemic.

The report suggests that companies should now be focusing on using digitals to their advantage and leveraging business partnerships to maximise savings. 

As data analytics and procurement technologies develop, businesses can utilise these specialised tools to source new data and make it more accessible for their sourcing teams. 

Risk Management Strategy 

Risk management is making its way to the forefront of business development, helped along by the demand of Covid-19.

Although many procurement organisations trust their current risk management strategy, they are at a crucial stage where they can begin to mitigate risks in the early stages of the sourcing process. 

Allowing them to manage possibilities throughout the whole supplier life cycle. 

Continuous development of risk strategy can be made easier with the use of the correct digital tools to monitor real-time data and gain better visibility throughout the supply chain process.

Developing Skills

To get the most out of digital data assets, procurement needs to be aligned with the services and tools that enable them to work in the most effective way. 

The report explains that businesses “will need to update both soft skills (e.g., strategic

thinking and business acumen) and hard skills (e.g., analytic decision-making and technology savviness).”

As organisations are adapting to an evolving digital method of working, providing or acquiring skills is a vital part of globalising the workforce. 

“Procurement must also carefully place resources with strong analytical skills and provide them

with modern digital tools (Fig. 3).”


Digital Transformation

At a time of global crises, companies were forced to digitise their processes, from administration to managing critical operations. 

Future procurement success will be greatly determined by organisations’ ability to adopt digital means of working. 



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