In response to these trends, companies are striving to optimize procurement, strategically considering important factors such as alignment, sustainability, sourcing, vendor management, and regulation.
Companies that want to continue to thrive should partner with vendors that can provide proven solutions to their specific needs, and be available as needed.
So what are some of the developments affecting how procurement officers do their jobs? Here are some of the latest trends in private sector purchasing and how they’re impacting the industry.
With virtual and remote solutions on the rise across industries, it’s no surprise that e-procurement, or electronic procurement, is emerging as a popular and efficient option for private sector purchasing. E-procurement enables procurement officials to purchase goods, services, and work online.
The e-procurement trend is being popularized across the board, but is more prominent in specific sectors, such as companies serving the gas, pharmaceuticals, and mining industries. Some companies even offer e-procurement services for global procurement transactions. Many large corporations are embracing in-house e-procurement services to maximize efficiency in purchasing everything from employee ID badges to capital equipment.
Rising Pressure to Innovate
Technology is constantly evolving, and the pressure to innovate and keep pace with rapidly changing expectations is rising. Companies that don’t align themselves with current trends and growing demands in the procurement industry are falling behind.
Procurement, like anything else, should be optimized. Companies should be actively prepared to serve organizations that are looking to enhance their processes, improve efficiency, and revolutionize the end user experience. The pressure to provide the latest and greatest technology, to be the best, and to strategically outwit competitors has never been so great.
Sustainability in the procurement industry isn’t just about implementing environmentally-friendly practices—it’s also about employing tactics and strategies that enable companies to gain more market share and beat competitors.
Sustainability involves anticipating unexpected events and leveraging sustainable procurement to eventually secure more profits. It’s about improving efficiency and strategically implementing practices that will enable the company to continue growing without incurring too much cost.
When organizations have so many options to consider in the procurement and purchasing process, companies have to be competitive in their pricing, and offer maximum value without compromising quality. For private sector purchasing, companies that are market savvy and provide the best value for the best price will win over more organizations.
Ease of Purchase
In today’s market, the purchasing process should be as simple and as seamless as possible.
Being able to shop and make purchases online adds convenience and is a great option for the procurement official to have. If organizations have questions about your products or services it shouldn’t be difficult for them to get in touch with a customer service representative that can clear up any confusion and explain the purchasing process if it takes multiple steps.
Once the purchase has been made, organizations should also expect timely delivery, and without any hiccups in between. Look at things like the vendor’s return policies, how customer complaints are handled, and other differentiators.
Managing risk is essential to maintaining sustainable practices, and increasing corporate social responsibility.
Companies are now emphasizing and investing in risk management to cut costs and secure higher profits for the future. Risk management that’s well executed will mitigate error and increase the company's power over their growth.
While these trends may be popular today, marketplace changes and unknown factors will continue to bring new surprises and change the way private sector purchasing operates.
Procurement is not simply about purchasing goods and services; it’s also about optimizing, simplifying, automating, and building equitable relationships with vendors and suppliers that continue to serve the needs of organizations for years to come.