The coronavirus outbreak has changed every aspect of human life – both professionally and personally. Not only the corporate world but also our household lives are undergoing constant transformation. Starting with the grocery shopping through the daily life hassles, and ending with so many lives that were lost due to the pandemic attack and an even greater number of people made homeless, this pandemic was the worst of its kind. Moving to the corporate world, they have experienced and witnessed some of the major technological innovations and utilized technically driven strategies over the past few months. In an era of enhanced technological use, the pandemic attack was no less than a catalyst. This is also a call for the procurement experts in UK to continue tempering patience and kindness with the inexorable use of technology to help companies lead through the time of crisis.
Technology, nowadays, is everywhere! For making a thoughtful decision, you use technology. For understanding supplier relationship, you use technology. Technology is so much in use and perhaps it’s nature’s call for regaining a portion of humanity. Procurement trends of 2021 are being colored by the different shades of humanity. In this context, you will get to know about four such colors of humanity.
Once a human resources manager was asked what he viewed in the employees of his organization. His answer was quite surprising. His reply, though strange, was true by every means. He said that he viewed everyone carrying rocks with themselves. The rocks were compared with financial pressures, health problems, childcare issues, sickness, and repairs. He also replied that at some point he felt as if it was his responsibility to reduce the number of rocks. So, he tried reducing the burden as much as he could. And, he did this in an empathetic way – by feeling the other person’s situation.
In today’s world, procurement agents often show empathy to their colleagues by holding their rocks. But when it comes to showing empathy to suppliers or vendors, they expect their suppliers to accomplish their work irrespective of the rocks they carry. All of a sudden every empathy vanishes and the agents start seeing supplier’s excuses as a sign of weakness. Suppliers also have their virus-related issues, lockdown and local regulations have also impacted their lives. So, the time has come for the agents and buyers to have a fresh level of empathy for their suppliers and understand their situation.
Video calling has become an essential part of our living. Especially, after the pandemic attack, it has integrated itself into people’s lives in a way like never before. In fact, it has become so important that a call without a video call feels extremely unfulfilling and increasingly infrequent.
No matter how we look nowadays, thinner or smarter, younger or whatever there is in the background, people, nowadays, welcome a video call with a smile and not with that awkward grimace. The connection issues have also started to vanish and everyone is least bothered about how they look or feel like in a video call. All that matters to people is the accomplishment of their tasks.
In the same way, procurement agents can carry out their virtual negotiations with their onshore or offshore suppliers. Video calling can enhance their relationship and improve their communication, and above all, create a human presence. Video calls can be used as that ubiquitous technology that makes people more approachable and personable.
A majority of small enterprises have taken the pandemic outbreak on the chin. With increased supply chain problems and decreased demand, and the lack of financial assistance have forced most of such enterprises to resign themselves from the hope of experiencing something good at least in the near future.
You do have a chance to support such enterprises. Why not encourage the small businesses at your locality by supporting them with take-out orders. You can take a step to show that you are compassionate about the small business by buying daily essentials and also by recommending your friends and relatives to do so. You can help them maintain their flow of making profits by placing a decent sized order. While these orders may not mean much to a mega supplier, but it can be a lifeline for small enterprises.
With so much uncertainty in supply chain and procurement management programs, the procurement leaders need to take leadership at work. The leaders can provide a workaround for services shortages, manage them, keep track of supply chain constraints, solve supplier challenges, reinforce and validate contributions to help organizations meet customer demands. The leaders can now become the conscious and voice of the supply chain to help companies work through the next phase of pandemic effect.
With the inclusion of technology, procurement experts in UK should also make use of kindness, patience, understanding, and compassion as traits to add value to the organizations.