New trends in procurement for 2013

Last year was marked by steady economic growth in key areas, but also vast uncertainty in others. While 2012′s forecasts may have been hazy, trends in supply chain become more clear. A transforming global market underlays the dynamic landscape of procurement and the evolving strategies businesses will need to adopt in order to stay competitive. For a closer look into the shifting world of supply chain, GEP recently released a report that identifies key trends in procurement that supply chain recruiters can help companies prepare for with by acquiring new talent.

2013: A good year for supply chain
As the global economy works to bring itself back into balance, cost-cutting becomes an even greater priority for the public and private sectors. As such, the business conditions for the new year led GEP to predict 2013 “will be a great year of procurement and supply chain professionals,” in its Strategic Souring and Procurement Outlook 2013, in which it spotlights eight key trends for the industry to take note of in the new year.

One of the most in
sightful findings in the report is the growing importance of technology in supply chain and procurement. GEP states rapid growth in overall adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will revolutionize procurement in the digital age. In particular, cloud computing will become the most important tech trend for supply chain professionals, as it can handle a number of tasks while also providing a singular space for storage and data access that can “empower sourcing professionals.”

GEP also pegs 2013 as the year professionals will put more thought into developing strategies to succeed in emerging markets. While procurement in developing economies once had a mere “tactical” role in overall strategy, there is a growing need for strategic sourcing and procurement in these regions of influence. However, some companies may not have a presence in developing markets because of the laggard label that had been recently applied to emerging markets, GEP said. To help boost their strategy, businesses can work with supply chain recruiters to bring in talent with a global perspective.

Risk management
The report notes supplier risk management has always been a priority for businesses, but with the Great Recession not far behind in the rearview mirror, it’s time procurement professionals adopt systematic strategies to manage risks. GEP notes many companies have gone without a structured approach to risk management, but there is increasingly more importance being placed on airtight contingency plans and other elements of a sound strategy because of global economic uncertainty.