Top 10 Key Takeaways from Virtual Events

Top10 Key Takeaways from Virtual Events
Procurement Magazine shares 10 crucial takeaways from recent events, guiding professionals in elevating and fostering success in procurement

At Procurement and Supply Chain Live, we’ve held virtual events in Singapore and New York, with our in-person return in London coming in Se
ptember.

We’ve looked at the panels, fireside chats, and discussions we’ve held and picked our top 10 key takeaways, which cover a broad spectrum of critical areas, from embracing innovative strategies and leveraging strategic sourcing to promoting gender diversity and empowerment.

Whether you're a seasoned procurement professional or just starting your journey in the field, this list works as the need-to-know following Procurement and Supply Chain Live.

10. Commit to supply chain sustainability

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Implementing sustainable procurement practices, ethical sourcing, and green logistics is essential for creating resilient and sustainable supply chains. Organisations should focus on sourcing from suppliers that adhere to environmental and social standards, reducing the environmental impact of logistics operations, and promoting ethical labour practices.

Engaging stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, and employees, in sustainability initiatives helps build a culture of responsibility and long-term value creation. Sustainable supply chain practices enhance corporate reputation and contribute to overall business resilience and competitiveness.

9. Drive procurement and supply chain transformation

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Embracing digital transformation can drive efficiency and innovation in procurement and supply chain management. Leveraging technology to automate processes, enhance data analytics, and improve collaboration can lead to transformative changes.

Organisations shouldadopt digital tools and platforms that streamline operations, reduce costs, and enable more strategic decision-making. Encouraging a culture of innovation and continuous improvement is also key to staying competitive in the evolving procurement landscape.

8. Build supply chain risk and resilience

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Developing strategies to mitigate risks and enhance resilience is critical for navigating uncertainties and safeguarding operations. Improving supply chain visibility, diversifying suppliers, and creating contingency plans are essential to building a robust and resilient supply chain.

Organisations should also regularly assess potential risks and vulnerabilities, engage in scenario planning, and invest in technologies that enhance supply chain agility and responsiveness.

7. Cultivate strong supplier relationships

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Investing in Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) is vital for fostering meaningful partnerships and promoting diversity and inclusion within the supplier network. Building strong supplier relationships involves regular communication, mutual trust, and collaboration on shared goals. Promoting supplier diversity by engaging with diverse suppliers can lead to a more innovative and resilient supply chain.

Organisations should also provide support and resources to help suppliers improve their capabilities and performance.

6. Stay ahead with future trends and technologies

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Keeping abreast of emerging trends and technologies in logistics, such as automation, digitalisation, and sustainability, is essential for maintaining operational efficiency and competitiveness. Adopting new technologies can significant improve logistics operations, including faster processing times, reduced costs, and enhanced accuracy.

Staying informed about industry developments and being open to innovation ensures that procurement professionals can adapt to changing market conditions and leverage new opportunities.

5. Prioritise sustainability and manage Scope 3 emissions

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Developing strategies to measure, track, and reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for creating environmentally responsible supply chains.

Focusing on sustainable practices, such as sourcing from environmentally friendly suppliers, reducing waste, and improving energy efficiency, can significantly impact the overall sustainability of the supply chain. Organisations should also engage suppliers in sustainability initiatives and promote a culture of environmental responsibility throughout the supply chain.

4. Harness the power of AI

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Utilising AI can transform procurement and supply chain operations by improving decision-making and operational efficiency.

Practical applications of AI include enhancing demand forecasting, automating routine tasks, and providing deeper insights into supply chain dynamics. AI can also help identify and mitigate risks, optimise inventory management, and streamline procurement processes.

3. Promote gender diversity and empowerment

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Encouraging the inclusion and advancement of women in procurement and supply chain roles can be achieved through mentorship and sponsorship programmes, which support their development and career growth. Offering training and professional development opportunities tailored for women helps build skills, leadership capabilities, and industry knowledge.

Addressing challenges such as work-life balance through flexible work arrangements allows people to balance professional and personal responsibilities. Eliminating bias and discrimination requires training on unconscious bias, promoting a culture of inclusivity, and establishing clear policies against discrimination.

2. Leverage strategic sourcing

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Optimising procurement processes involves segmenting activities by categories through category management, which focuses on specific areas of spend to maximise value and efficiency.

Evaluating decisions based on the total cost of ownership (TCO) rather than just the purchase price helps consider factors like maintenance, operation, and disposal costs. Implementing e-procurement systems automates and streamlines procurement processes, improving transparency, compliance, and efficiency.

Identifying cost-saving opportunities through regular spend analysis helps uncover areas of excess expenditure and opportunities for cost reduction.

Strategic negotiations with suppliers secure better terms, prices, and conditions, while supplier consolidation leverages volume discounts and reduces administrative costs. Strengthening supplier partnerships involves collaborating on joint innovation projects, establishing clear performance metrics and KPIs, and working together to identify and mitigate risks.

1. Embrace innovative strategies

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To optimise supply chain efficiency, procurement professionals should prioritise process automation, streamlining repetitive tasks, reducing errors, and improving overall efficiency.

Data analytics can be leveraged to gain insights into supply chain performance, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions that enhance operational efficiency. Implementing lean management principles helps eliminate waste, improve processes, and increase customer value.

Supplier development programmes can support supplier improvement and innovation through resources, training, and support. Effective communication is key, and using technology platforms for real-time information sharing and collaboration can significantly enhance these relationships.

Cutting-edge technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) allows for real-time monitoring and management of supply chain activities, improving inventory management and shipment tracking. Blockchain technology increases transparency and traceability, ensuring secure and verifiable transactions. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) optimise demand forecasting, inventory management, and procurement processes, improving decision-making and predictive capabilities.

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