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Procurement and supply chain during a crisis: Stronger together


This content was published on the Fairmarkit blog on April 20, 2020

If there is one thing you get used to when you work in procurement, it is that no one outside of the field has any idea what we do for a living. As a result, terminology gets thrown around where it doesn’t necessarily belong. Maybe this sounds familiar:

“Procurement?” someone might say. “Isn’t that the same as supply chain?”

“Well, sort of,” you answer patiently (for the millionth time). “But only parts of the supply chain. We’re focused on the suppliers, products and services, and contracts, but not necessarily how those products physically arrive on location. That’s the logistics part of supply chain.”

“Oh,” they reply. “So what does procurement do again?”

One of the silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the spotlight shone on supply chains. From the food supply chain to the retail supply chain to the toilet paper supply chain, people are starting to understand that it takes a lot of different organizations working together to make that chain, and if a product isn’t available, you can’t buy it.

From procurement’s perspective, recent stockouts might mean that the contract you hold in your hands (or preferably in your CLM platform) is effectively useless. The interconnectedness between supply chain and procurement is critical, especially during these unprecedented times. The very best minds in both procurement and supply chain will be needed to carry our countries and communities through the crisis.

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