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Building Resilience into Procurement with Procurated

If there is a single takeaway for Procurement professionals from this decade so far, it is this – resilience is critical. Over the last two and a half years, procurement teams have kept the gears of our society spinning, as outside pressures and events have conspired to drag the mechanics of our lives to a grinding halt. Procurement teams have – with varying degrees of success – weathered the storm. We’ve faced: 
 
  • A global pandemic 
  • Massive supply chain disruptions 
  • Societal unrest and widening political divisions 
  • A vast wave of industry retirements 
  • An economic downturn threatening to become a recession 
  • Natural disasters and the impacts of global climate change 
 
And this list doesn’t account for the hundreds of little fires that Procurement professionals are putting out every day. 
 
Resilience is our ability to thrive in the face of these challenges and the ones to come that we couldn’t possibly predict. These experiences have told us plainly that Procurement leaders need to build resilience into every facet of the procurement function.  
 
Luckily, there are free tools like Procurated that can help. With over 40,000 supplier ratings and reviews all from verified public and education sector professionals, Procurated has quickly become the leading repository of peer-driven supplier insights. As you are prioritizing resilience, Procurated can boost your efforts. 
 

Methods for Building Resilience and How Procurated Can Help

 
There are myriad opportunities to build resilience into your day-to-day procurement operations. Doing so will ensure that you and your team are ready in times of crisis – that you can keep the gears turning when doing so is most critical. Here are some ideas for building that resilience along with how Procurated can help. 
 
When procuring new products and services – Make sure your end-users are not simply thinking about, but centering resiliency in their requirements. This should be an organization-wide directive.  
 
For IT procurement, for example, resilience might look like a firm commitment to direct customer service and support, strict requirements around security certifications and data privacy, an understanding of where servers live, and the redundancies and fail-safes put in place by the supplier.  
 
For goods – resilience means having as deep an understanding of your vendor’s supply chain as possible, including their backups and redundancies in cases of supply chain disruption.  
 
Even looking at P-card purchases can help you to build resilience. Examine what end-users across departments are buying day-in and day-out. Will you be prepared to back them up in a situation where those products face shortages? 
 
Rather than relying on cherry-picked references to evaluate a supplier’s preparedness in the face of emergency or to gauge responsiveness, service, and support – check out customer ratings and reviews to hear how public or education sector customers are experiencing these things. 
 
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When your most experienced buyer is planning their retirement – Don’t let them sail off into the sunset without downloading their knowledge and experience. Procurement is a special field. Around this country, professionals from all backgrounds have found themselves here – as stewards of our tax dollars, as a bulwark against corruption and misuse, as drivers of innovation and improvement. Many professionals dedicate decades to this service. 
 
While we should applaud them as they enter retirement, we must also recognize and capture the vast institutional knowledge they take with them. For some agencies it might be too late for that, for others, the clock is ticking. If you have Senior Buyers nearing that next step, consider starting to wind down their day-to-day functions early. They should be transitioning to downloading their insights for your team.  
 
These professionals can build supplier lists, share deep supply chain insights, and annotate old contracts so the rest of the team understands peculiar quirks or challenges. You can’t stop them from entering the next phase of their life – it is your responsibility as a Procurement leader to make sure you get everything you need from them before they go. 
 
Don’t let these insights live in an errant Word document or spreadsheet, or (cringe) on a bunch of post-it notes. Tools like Procurated can allow departing staff to build out supplier lists and to provide detailed insights on all the suppliers they work with. Their insights will stay accessible to your team while also helping your procurement colleagues at neighboring agencies. The insights from a lifetime of Procurement can pass into a shared resource, making the whole community better, stronger, and more informed. 
 
When evaluating your existing supplier network – Having a resilient operation means identifying places where a single point of failure can have a dramatic impact on your work. Agencies have incumbent suppliers. There is nothing wrong with working with a supplier that has proven reliable in the long term. But being resilient means having redundancies and alternatives in place.  
 
Especially in the face of challenging economic circumstances you want to be prepared with a broad and diverse supplier base that can step in when an incumbent supplier struggles.
 
Community insights on Procurated allow procurement professionals to rapidly search for and identify new suppliers – including small and diverse businesses - which will allow you build this resilience while working to meet your agency or organization’s spend goals. 
 
When putting out fires – Just because an emergency procurement does not have the same strict bidding requirements as your everyday process does not mean you should throw your principles aside. In a crisis, your team will need to act fast, getting end-users the materials and equipment they need to be successful. Whether you are procuring emergency PPE for a health crisis, addressing a sudden unexpected natural disaster like the cold snap that hit Texas last winter or a rapidly forming wildfire, or finding suppliers to begin emergency repairs on crumbling infrastructure – those principles are more important than ever. But so is speed. 
 
Resilience in emergency Procurement looks a lot like the 5Ps – “Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” Make sure your agency understands the risks it may face and the challenges on the horizon. Have supplier lists pre-baked to address challenges and make sure those suppliers are vetted even if they haven’t gone through a more rigid procurement. And when the unexpected reality does come, and you need to buy something you never considered – use peer insights to guide decision making. 
 
Finding trusted emergency suppliers is easy on Procurated. As you build your list of suppliers, you can see insights about their emergency performance from other agencies. If you don’t have the time for a rigorous solicitation process, look to community insights on Procurated as a quick check before spending. COVID showed us all that there is no shortage of people who will take advantage of an unpredictable emergency to make a quick buck. With shared community insights, we can help each other avoid those pitfalls. 
 
--The Power of Community for Resilience— 
 
Procurement has – in many cases – proven its resilience these past couple of years. In the face of a parade of crises, we persist. But when we hit those bumps in the road, the results can be jarring and have serious impacts on our ability to meet our goals and perform our function. 
 
The three above examples are just some ways to build resilience – to smooth out those bumps before hitting them, and to ensure continued success.  
 
Public and education sector Procurement has another thing going for it – community. The broader Procurement community has a deep well of insights and expertise that, when pooled, is an incredibly powerful force for good.  
 
At Procurated, we believe that creating a free, trusted repository for these community insights boosts Procurement resilience across the board. Together we can fill the gaps in our knowledge, avoid pitfalls in crisis, and be more effective at addressing the challenging problems of tomorrow. Procurement is more resilient when agencies and leaders work together, and there are free tools like Procurated that make doing so easier than ever before. 
 

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Procurated helps public sector buyers make more informed buying decisions through peer reviews. It is completely free to use.

Write and read reviews, find new suppliers, manage vendor performance and more!

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