WHILE challenges abound, particularly amid the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, the procurement profession is one of the most interesting – and important – places to be right now.
That’s according to Professor Karsten Machholz, International Professor for Supply Chain Management & Procurement, Strategic Consultant and Post COVID-19 Supply Chains Activist at the University of Göttingen in Germany.
Speaking at the 2021 Smart Procurement World Indaba, South Africa’s longest-standing thought leadership event for procurement and inbound supply chain professionals, he stressed that procurement today is about much more than just ensuring supply at the lowest price.
“Procurement can help to secure the future of our post-pandemic world. We need supply chains that are agile, resilient and sustainable, and procurement has a critical role to play in this transformation,” he said.
“Procurement drives bottom line cost savings; we ensure quality; drive supplier innovation; and we bring new products to the market. We are also the drivers of sustainability because we are selecting our supplier base”
Machholz likened procurement to a spider in a web – connected to all internal and external functions. “This is a great challenge, but also a great opportunity for procurement professionals,” he told delegates.
Commenting on the event’s growth since the inaugural indaba 15 years ago, Smart Procurement World chief operating officer Debbie Tagg said: “The last 15 years have been an amazing journey of learning, collaboration and building of long lasting relationships. I feel that this anniversary also marks the introduction of a new generation of leaders into supply chain and procurement.
“As a community we need to give them the greatest support and chance to take our profession to new heights. We also now have a redefined approach to procurement and supply chain, ensuring that we look forward and not behind us.”
She said the 2021 Smart Procurement World Indaba focused on redefining the profession, which has faced enormous pressure during the COVID-19 crisis
“Our aim was to equip delegates with the skills and knowledge to rise to the challenges now and in a post-pandemic world, and to seize opportunities to build organisations and economies that are resilient and sustainable,” Tagg said, adding that the feedback from delegates had been overwhelmingly positive.