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Procurement Trends: 2022 and Beyond

This past year was one of transition and transformation for procurement professionals around the country. Instead of a return to a pre-COVID status quo, procurement leaders from governments and academic institutions worked hard to adapt to a new normal.

In examining that new normal and in looking forward to what's next, we found topics that were clearly top of mind for purchasers this year. Topics like collaboration and incorporating peer supplier reviews, supplier diversity and inclusive procurement, and the remote workforce were all discussed often at conferences and in public procurement circles.

And so, in celebration Procurement Month 2022, the Procurated team counted down some of those "Procurement Hot Topics." Here is the full countdown:

#10: The Return of In-Person Conferences

Across the country, Procurement professionals are returning to in-person events. In addition to providing some much-needed social interaction, these conferences now feature critical new topics, including:

  • The Remote and Flexible Future of Work
  • Overcoming New Supply Chain Challenges
  • Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness
  • The Great Resignation and The Next Generation

#9: The Impact of Russia's War in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had broad implications across industries. The conflict tests the agility of government purchasers as they adapt to new rules, regulations, and circumstances:

  • Shifting gas prices impact budgets & logistics
  • Raw material shortages (palladium, neon, and more)
  • New regulations limiting use/sale of Russian goods
  • Shipping and other supply chain disruptions

#8: Rising eProcurement Adoption

COVID-19 led agencies to push the envelope on digitization so procurement teams could continue their critical work. eProcurement adoption continues to rise, bringing new benefits and challenges:

  • Improved access to opportunities for SMBEs
  • Digital tools reduce waste & environmental footprint
  • Breadth of tech options can pose a buying challenge
  • Suppliers have to learn many systems

#7: Expanded Cooperative Purchasing

Cooperative purchasing can be a game changer for procurement teams. But with more coops than ever before, purchasers need to be strategic with how they leverage piggybacking and other cooperative methods. A trusted Cooperative Contract saves time and can yield savings by looping agencies into the purchasing power of a larger buying organization. But it is important to know when to use Cooperative Contracts. Custom requirements may not be covered in the scope. It can also be harder to find local suppliers on national coops, so purchasers may need to strike a balance.

#6: The Next Generation of Procurement Professionals

The "Great Resignation" impacted all sectors, and procurement teams are seeing significant turnover. But new professional development opportunities are helping prepare a new generation of buyer. More degree and certificate programs in Public Procurement and Contract Management are creating a pool of recruitable talent that is:

  • Technologically savy
  • Skilled at network building
  • Environmentally and socially conscious of the impacts of their decisions

#5: Supply Chain Disruption

Conflict, crisis, and environmental catastrophe are just some of the ways supply chains can be disrupted. Supply chain resiliency should be a top priority for governments and can be improved through:

  • Mapping suppliers all the way back to source materials
  • Updating IT for improved visibility and cybersecurity
  • Diversification to avoid broad risk from a single source
  • Peer collaboration to share insights and best practices

#4: Use of Relief Funding

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program delivers $350bn to state, local, and Tribal governments. Utilizing these funds is a major priority. They can be used to:

  • Replace lost public sector revenue
  • Respond to public health and economic impacts of COVID
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers
  • Invest in infrustructure (water, sewer, broadband)

#3: Interconnectedness and Peer Insights

Public procurement professionals are more connected than ever. From procurement podcasts and virtual conferences, to cooperative purchasing and access to a free database of government supplier reviews - there has never been a greater opportunity for procurement professionals to learn from each other. This connectedness and shared knowledge can be used to to lower costs, boost efficiency, and  solidify the strategic importance of the procurement function.

#2: The Flexible Procurement Workplace

While many agencies have returned to full or partial in-person work, others - like the State of Connecticut - are codifying some form of remote work for the foreseeable future. This will broadly impact procurement:

  • IT infrastructure must adapt to remote workforces
  • Recruiting challenges will  arise for non-remote roles
  • Policies around bid openings, site visits, and other traditionally in-person procurement activities will need to be addressed

#1: Inclusive Procurement

While Supplier diversity and inclusion is not a new topic, the push for inclusive procurement has intensified. When implementing your own supplier diversity policy, there is a lot to keep in mind:

  • Don't skip the research step! Conducting a disparity study and connecting directly with community members is crucial for setting effective goals
  • Peer reviews can help with identifying small, MWBE, veteran-owned, LGBTQ suppliers, and with boosting end-user confidence

Thanks for checking out our Procurement Month countdown! Don't miss our Procurement Month video where we talk about topics on the horizon for next year and say thank you to Procurement Professionals across the country.






 

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