As the effects of the global pandemic unfold, governments the world over are looking to procurement leaders to restructure supply chains that are agile and resilient as well as leverage technology to gain procurement efficiencies. This has led to increased positions and career opportunities for procurement professionals — thereby furthering the need for, and increasing the value of, public procurement training opportunities.
Deloitte shares with us, “If you want to run a mission-ready organization that delivers value to the public, hits its KPIs, and remains resilient in times of disruption, then you must ensure your operations and supply chain management practices are set up for success.”
Although procurement has historically been treated as a back-office function, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted procurement’s ability to deliver increased corporate performance and remodel supply chains to safeguard against disruption and deliver value.
Public Procurement Opportunities are Growing
Procurement, however, has for some time been experiencing a shortage in procurement talent, making attracting and retaining top talent a priority for Canadian organizations.
Before the global pandemic, procurement and supply chain were little heard of. Often, private and public procurement careers were those that one would fall into by circumstance, rather than by strategic career planning. But, as the repercussions of the pandemic rippled through global supply chains, the procurement and supply chain industry became increasingly known and highly valued, drawing more people to shift careers into the industry.
Product Backlogs Amplify Procurement Talent Shortage
This trend became clear as the news of product shortages made their way into headlines. Everything from Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medicines, to toilet paper and semiconductor chips, were backlogged and caused dramatic problems around the world.
For employers, COVID-19 underscored the critical role procurement plays in an organization’s success. Additionally, it has fueled a trend that began pre-pandemic: the realization that there is a greater need for investing in procurement professionals.
However, the future of procurement and supply chain is likely to look vastly different from its past, thereby spurring further change and increasing the earning potential of the industry’s professionals.
Digitalization: The Future of Procurement
Firstly, Government agencies have to deal with ageing IT infrastructure that is quickly turning obsolete, costly to maintain, and bringing increased risk of cyberattacks. These legacy systems are also responsible for cumbersome processes that limit the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement.
Today, deep tech such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data are changing ways of work, in ways that help to lower costs and increase efficiencies— all great things when you answer to taxpayers. By leveraging these new technologies, procurement teams can be empowered and spend their time and efforts on delivering value through:
- improved risk management,
- driving innovation and sustainability,
- or implementing strategic procurement strategies.
Government supply chains play a vital role in communities. The importance of these supply chains is compounded during times of crisis. During COVID-19, governments across the globe faced challenges to respond quickly and secure the supply of crucial life-saving items, which caused increased public pressure for complete transparency and visibility throughout the supply chain and to facilitate robust risk management efforts.
Establishing end-to-end supply chain visibility now stands as a chief supply chain objective and can be achieved through data-driven cloud-based technologies that deliver real-time visibility and predictive analytics. Digitalization of the procurement industry can help to identify and mitigate possible disruptions and shortfalls before they occur.
Thanks to these new technologies, the potential for improvement is limitless. However, knowledgeable procurement experts are needed to spearhead these important initiatives.
The Importance of Public Procurement
In public procurement, however, old rules, and current laws, still apply. Public sector procurement must operate in a more transparent manner than its private counterparts. Regulations and legislation require public entities to report how money is being spent and provide a level of transparency that ensures fair and ethical procurement practices that are free of biases and conflicts of interests.
Although even private supply chains have now begun to prioritize resilience and sustainability, within public procurement, the expectation that issues beyond simply costs or security of supply will be addressed has always existed, something which has been amplified by the current state of the world. The United Nations has now called code red on humanity, heightening the need for adding social value through the supply chain, and so procurement must now also concern itself with sustainability, including ethical sourcing and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
This new awareness the power of procurement has to drive change, both organizationally and for the betterment of the planet, and its people, continues to attract talent as the socially conscious look to take action and be a part of the solution. Importantly, it also escalates the need for education within the sector and boosts the earning potential of procurement leaders who are now taking on a wider set of responsibilities.
Procurement Talent and Employer ROI
Employers today understand well the quick Return on Investment (ROI) seen when investing in procurement talent and who remain dedicated to staying on top of the ever-changing Canadian Public Procurement landscape through continued learning. With talented procurement professionals in short supply, Government agencies are sincere in their desire to attract and retain top-performers through competitive compensation packages that reward continued education.
In order to fill their talent pipeline, hiring managers are now willing to widen the lens when acquiring new talent and thanks to the global pandemic, are more accepting of online education. This has opened the door to new procurement professionals of all ages, creeds, and experience levels. However, although employers who are looking for industry-specific education and consider a college degree insufficient, non-Canadian certifications continue to go unrecognized.
This culmination of circumstances has created a dire need for procurement education that provides not just theoretical learning but tactical, real-world strategies that can be leveraged to mitigate risks and extract maximum value from the supply chain. Online procurement education can lead to promotions and better pay, providing you with the skills you need to better align with company goals and industry trends.
Upon completion, certification badges can be shared with your professional network on social platforms such as LinkedIn, validating your professional standing and leading to professional growth.
Online Learning Certification
Luckily, The Procurement School’s flexible online learning makes professional certification accessible to all. The Procurement School’s Public Sector Procurement Program (PSPP) is a comprehensive program that allows you to learn the public sector procurement process and best practices, including how to effectively manage sourcing contracts in the public sector.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the Subject Matter Experts and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Procurement School.
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