Ivalua: How procurement can lead post COVID-19 recovery
COVID-19 caused unparalleled disruption to supply chains on a global scale. Almost overnight, procurement leaders were forced to rapidly adjust to keep their organisations running. However, despite these obstacles, many performed remarkably well.
For instance, procurement played a crucial role in the vaccine rollout, helping to rapidly accelerate production and deliver life-saving vaccines to millions of people. AstraZeneca made supplier collaboration an important part of its R&D process, as it worked with over 20 supply partners in more than 15 countries to enable the rapid manufacturing of its vaccines.
The role that procurement played last year has not gone unnoticed. The status of procurement has been further elevated, with 86 percent believing that it is playing an influential role in leading their organisation’s recovery from COVID-19. As executive leadership begins to widely recognise procurement, its next major role will be to help restore growth as business priorities shift back to the top line.
An uphill battle
Although more organisations now understand the need to ensure supply chain agility, improve decision making, and enable supplier collaboration – implementing this is easier said than done. Despite the critical role procurement played during the pandemic, it wasn’t easy for procurement teams, as COVID-19 exposed weaknesses in organisations’ procurement infrastructure.
Many leaders feel that their procurement strategies are being hampered by outdated technology. New research found that 72 percent of procurement decision-makers said that the disbursement of data throughout their organisation is hindering performance. Problems with data can also create inventory challenges, potentially leading to stock shortages and increased storage costs. If the wrong technology is used, or decisions are made in isolation, it can have serious implications. Poor technology choices make it more difficult for organisations to assess risks and opportunities, to ultimately build more resilient supply networks, and act on new revenue opportunities.
The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of closer collaboration with suppliers, both in responding to supply shocks and in acting on new opportunities. As a result, nearly two thirds of organisations have increased supplier collaboration as a key priority following the pandemic. However, working collaboratively is often complex and remains inefficient and limited to a handful of strategic suppliers at many organizations, with a lack of digitisation in procurement processes limiting progress.
Keeping the seat at the table
When applied correctly, technology can help procurement to evolve and meet strategic objectives. If procurement leaders want to keep their seat at the table in the long term, they must demonstrate that they still serve an important purpose as the organisation pivots from crisis to growth mode. This means implementing the right technology to support their procurement objectives.
Organisations should learn from their past mistakes, and look to smart procurement solutions to help them manage the data problems that caused challenges throughout the pandemic. They can capture data from the business, third parties, and suppliers, and link them together to provide a 360-degree view of everything that’s happening in the supply chain in near real-time. Armed with accurate data, procurement leaders can then make more informed decisions, improve supplier collaboration, and ensure the continuity of their supply chains.
Procurement technology platforms can also enable “collaboration at scale”, which will be invaluable in a post-pandemic world. More strategic objectives, whether unlocking supplier-led innovation or driving meaningful sustainability gains, require collaboration to succeed. Technology can address the core challenges, enabling better communication, secure sharing of information and ongoing monitoring of action plans. But it is key to digitize smartly. Collaboration does not start or end with a specific process so technology must support the full breadth of collaboration required with suppliers and other stakeholders. Equipped with the right tools, firms will be well-positioned to address both the current and future needs of their organizations.
A tipping point for procurement
The pandemic has been a key turning point for procurement. Procurement leaders stepped up to the mark, and helped to keep the lights on for their organisations even amidst major disruption. Executive leadership is increasingly recognising procurement’s role in restoring growth post-pandemic. Procurement leaders must drive ongoing transformation of the department, evolving the mindset and empowering staff with the right technology to facilitate improved visibility and collaboration. Now is the right time to reassess outdated technology.
JAGGAER: Advancing Procurement Technology in Healthcare
JAGGAER has revealed the latest technological advancements in its cutting-edge, ground-breaking system at this years Arab Health, hosted by Informa Markets, as the industry-leading all-in-one procurement platform provider continues to provide support for the global healthcare industry as it struggles to recover from a year and a half tainted by the novel Coronavirus, and the ongoing pressure that it is putting on hospitals and pharmaceuticals.
With new technology and innovation taking centre stage this year’s edition of Arab Health, JAGGAER announced the launch of its new ‘Digital Mind’ strategy. The strategy features a core set of advanced strategies, including embedded intelligence, predictive data analytics, and real-time user guidance that can all be used to support healthcare procurement teams with the necessary and oftentimes difficult strategic decision-making involved in the acquisition process. It’s set to better efficiency across the sector, reduce risk, and better customer service capabilities.
The Exponential Growth of IoMT
This development comes at a time when the Internet of Things (IoT) has started to infiltrate all industries in an elaborate way. In a report published by Deloitte, it has been suggested that the global market for the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is projected to exceed US$158bn by 2022, with the IoMT market specifically in the MENA region, expected to hit US$9bn.
Hany Mosbeh, Vice President of Sales Middle East & Africa, JAGGAER, said: ‘The healthcare sector is increasingly adopting disruptive technologies into the IoMT ecosystem including artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and robotic process automation (RPA). From a procurement perspective, these technologies are also being utilised in our systems, having far-reaching benefits for the healthcare industry.’
JAGGAER’s Digital Mind
The new Digital Mind strategy incorporates JAGGAER Adopt, Assist and Advise. The latter of which enables users to be more proactive in recognising potential areas of improvement and mitigating challenging situations such as supplier risk. By leveraging a combination of advanced predictive analytics, machine learning, and customer-specific business rules, JAGGAER Advise empowers procurement professionals to identify steps that could improve performance or results and take corrective action on behalf of users.
The software also provides its users with data-driven actionable insights and recommends the next steps to mitigate the risk of supply disruptions, supplier qualification, performance issues, and underperforming sourcing events.
Speaking at one of the sessions during the event, Microsoft Research’s Chief Medical Scientist, Dr Junaid Bajwa, outlined the role of data in the healthcare sector, he said: ‘Today’s story is one of automation of processes, aggregation of data, moving to intelligent analysis and AI, and then repeating that cycle. If we get this right, it has the potential to reduce costs and support clinicians by unmasking occult disease types, generalising new associations and perhaps even generating new novel hypotheses and new mechanisms.’
Right now, JAGGAER supports over 120 healthcare organisations globally. They do so by modernising and transforming their procurement capabilities through digitalisation─an action that is propelling the industry forward at pace. To name just a small number of companies that JAGGAER services: Dubai Health Authority, Uniting Care, NHS England, HCA Healthcare, and Bright Horizons.
‘During Arab Health, we heard from a range of experts who highlighted the challenges directly linked to COVID-19, from developing enough vaccines to combat the infection to the flow of raw materials to make the vaccines. In an era of technological advancements in the healthcare industry that are saving lives, it is also important to utilise this technology from a business perspective so that we can identify future risk and improve performance’, Mosbeh added.