Covid-19: Procurement decision makers discuss risk management

August 6th, 2020
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In recent months, companies have faced a multitude of risks as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason, Procurious has decided to ask procurement decision makers about the types of risks they have encountered and the measures they have taken to contain such risks. Whether the risks affect people or the supply chain, the organisations' agility seems to be a key part of the solution.

Covid-19: Risks affecting people and logistics

In this video, two types of risk are discussed:

  • Risks affecting people: This includes the risks of spreading the virus and of employees and partners feeling less engaged. To combat this, John Butcher, Group Procurement Director at Just Eat, says that he has been focusing on communication, both sympathetic and supportive, with all stakeholders.
  • Risks affecting the supply chain: This crisis has highlighted the fragility of supply chains, and in particular many organisations' heavy dependence on Asia. This is the case for Amit Sheth, Procurement Digital Transformation Lead at Diageo, who has been looking at the diversity of his supply chain in areas where his company has only one or two suppliers to provide a product.

Be agile to counter risks relating to Covid-19

In order to manage these crisis situations and build resilience, it is worthwhile for companies to adopt an agile organisational structure.

Omera Khan, Supply Chain Risk Expert, explains: "It's about having the flexibility to change with the circumstances and I think businesses have become so lean with their whole cost-coding exercise and so on, but I think now it's time to actually let go of that and make sure that there's a lot more agility within their supply chains".

Several months after the start of the pandemic, procurement departments are preparing for the future by rethinking supply flows and their relationships with stakeholders, and this means they must be agile. Being able to adapt quickly to change and to unforeseen events around the world is undoubtedly the new norm.