Managing supply chain issues is the top priority for procurement and sourcing executives, and many say the issue “keeps them up at night,” according to a report from supply chain technology firm Keelvar, released this week.
The Cork, Ireland-based company released its 2021 Voices of Sourcing report Tuesday, reporting that 68% of respondents list managing supply chain issues as a “very important priority” and that 22% say it’s “somewhat important.” The top three challenges keeping executives up at night are: meeting cost and reliability targets, fluctuating supply and capacity constraints, and the ability to react to disruptions. This has led to a shift in sourcing strategies, where speed and reliability are now tied with cost as the number one supplier attribute organizations look for when selecting suppliers, according to the report.
Sustainability and automation also ranked as top issues. The study found that sustainability will increase in importance among sourcing professionals globally over the next five years, although the issue ranked higher in Europe than in North America. On the technology side, the study found that many procurement teams have been slow to adopt technology for e-sourcing, optimization, and automation to manage today’s complexity, with many saying their teams have failed to “fully adopt” those technologies. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they rely on manual processes and spreadsheets for most operations, despite 99% saying that parts of the sourcing process should be automated.
The study analyzed responses from more than 100 procurement leaders in retail, consumer goods, food and beverage, pharmaceutical products, industrial manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, transportation/warehousing, and other industries.