In 2021 Argon & Co surveyed a group of 200 procurement and finance professionals within the UK, France, Germany and the US on a range of topics within procurement, from the pandemic and Brexit to technology and sustainability. This whitepaper takes a look at the survey results from 2021 in comparison with pre-pandemic results from the same survey in 2017.

The role of procurement departments within businesses is constantly evolving. The year 2020 will be remembered by many as the year the world stood still and locked down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However for the procurement profession it was undoubtedly one of the busiest years on record, thrust into the limelight due to lockdowns, shortages and stockpiling. Procurement became a word on the top of everyone’s tongue.

In recent years the perception of procurement has shifted, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of procurement and its strategic potential within an organisation.

In addition, there has also been a shift in what’s most important within procurement departments from technology deployment to the development of people, capability, and skills. The cause of this shift is once again the Covid-19 pandemic which has called attention to the value of people and in particular skilled people to effectively provide resilience within an organisation. Meanwhile the value of technology deployment has decreased in favour of investing in training and resources to develop people with the know how to use technology.

In contrast one thing that has not changed within the world of procurement is system choices, where Contract Management systems and eSourcing consistently remaining the first and second choices.

Whilst it’s unlikely another earth-changing event will occur in the next four years (we all hope!), there will be constant change in the world we live and work in. Procurement is always going to be at the fulcrum of such changes, so it needs to make sure it keeps up.


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