Procurement Trends for 2024

Change follows a crisis & we’ve had a couple of biggies since 2020. The World Health Organisation recently downgraded COVID from the highest alert level, but this was followed, in 2022, by Russia’s military action in Ukraine, leading to changes in working patterns, increased skills gaps, escalating fuel costs & food prices and extra pressure on key supply chains.

What changes might procurement see in 2024?

Integrated Systems – Integration is a current hot topic, especially Application Programming Interfaces (API). When we talk about APIs, we’re really looking at how different software applications communicate with each other. We’ve seen an increase in our clients using APIs to share data between

CFSuite and data visualisation tools, like PowerBI, or Tableau. It’s important that procurement utilises resources, and capitalises on automating their internal processes.

Analytics – According to Gartner by 2026, more than 75% of commercial supply chain management application providers will deliver embedded advanced analytics, artificial intelligence & data science. This will enhance decision making across the supply chain. We’re likely to see spreadsheets being phased out and instead, complex, data rich analytics providing a 360 view of the supply chain, including potential risks & any bottlenecks.

Sustainability – 2020 saw a shift from sustainability to personal safety. This meant a return to disposable cups & an increase in single use masks that blew across our towns & cities like an urban tumbleweed. 2023 finds procurement bringing sustainability back into focus. In 2016 McKinsey published a paper that noted that, “The typical consumer company’s supply chain creates far greater social and environmental costs than its own operations, accounting for more than 80 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions and more than 90 percent of the impact on air, land, water, biodiversity, and geological resources.”

Circular supply chains are becoming more commonplace and can save costs and reduce waste. Patagonia has been feeding goods back into the supply chain to be reused, recycled, refurbished or repurposed for years. Circularity enables businesses to spend less on materials and helps drive sustainability.

Relationships – Maintaining professional relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders is important, especially when uncertainty hits & being able to quickly react to changing situations is useful. Gathering & utilising real-time data to have informed QBRs with suppliers, to review & manage inventories & to gain stakeholder thoughts on the supplier relationship all helps build trust & resilience.

Technology enables data gathering to inform strategic decisions that can impact on your relationships across the business. Supplier relationship management solutions, resource planning software and supplier onboarding tools all help to gather data and are brought alive by analytics.