The supply chain got stressed beyond belief, due to the restrictions imposed by government actions all over the world. The idea is to restrict as much as possible on the human interaction in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. For procurement all the sudden, supply got deeply affected. Some vendors had trouble at the start of the supply chain; they had product set to go that could not be shipped. Other vendors started to have trouble getting the materials needed to produce. Other cases labor was compromised by the workers not being able to get to the factories and work in general. At the other end of the supply chain, materials and products got caught in logistics trouble, freight being irregular.
All the above happening in one dimension, meanwhile, the procurement department trying to solve on other dimensions cost, terms and conditions. Prices went up and down, freight will depend on many variables like availability, frequency, and other factors.
An art of juggling, all in all, for the supply chain through the procurement department. What happens with this department, well like my Granma said when I was very young, “you don´t know what you got until you need help!”, she was referring to herself and she would rant about how we will miss her when she died. Procurement became the center for solving problems in pandemic times. This little department sometimes forgotten all the sudden got center stage on a three-ring circus.
Procurement started to solve supply and logistics problems. Good thing that´s what procurement is used to doing every day. Far too many times Procurement magic has saved the day for the business. So basically, more of what procurement has being trained for. Don´t get me wrong is a huge challenge, non the less, but the point is that now that is procurement time to act, we are all reminded how procurement is centric to a successful business. IF put in the middle of the action to do what it´s aim to do, which is to add value by strategic sourcing and procurement, your business will thrive in difficult times and it will shine in good times.