The ‘now normal’ is here to stay – turning ‘what ifs’ into long-term planning

PL Staff

Fabienne Lesbros, Board member of Vodafone Procurement Company Sarl, Vodafone; Kai Nowosel, CPO, Accenture; Taryn Thompson, CPO, Bank of America; Amanda Davies, Global Vice President, MGS, Indirect Chief Procurement Officer, Mars; Mike Jette, VP Consulting, GEP. Hosted by GEP

As we move through different phases of the crisis, focusing solely on ’react and respond’ is a luxury that companies can no longer afford. Whether they are thinking through the future of work, category plans, spend patterns, new ways of doing business, new operating models, procurement structures or, indeed, reconfiguring global supply chains, teams must shape their long-term plans with some urgency. In this candid conversation, a panel of procurement leaders addresses some radical thinking in three fundamental pillars that can help you turn uncertainty into opportunities.

Key takeaways

  • Procurement teams should use this crisis to fundamentally reevaluate their cost bases. Accenture CPO Kai Nowosel said with the rise in remote working and videoconferencing, travel and real estate – two of the firm’s five biggest areas of spend – present big opportunities to find substantial savings.
  • Mike Jette, VP Consulting at GEP, said resilience is becoming increasingly important to the point it is challenging price as the dominant focus of procurement. This is encouraging companies to diversify their supply chains, in many cases looking for alternatives to single-sourcing in China.
  • With businesses expecting to come under financial strain in the months and years ahead, Bank of America CPO Taryn Thompson said procurement should not be ashamed to focus on its traditional role of generating efficiencies. She added, however, that functions should achieve this in a balanced way that can be mutually beneficial to suppliers.
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