Our series of New Year wishes (rather than ‘predictions’) for the procurement, supply and services market for the year ahead (read more about it here) runs from mid-December to early January, then our analyst Bertrand Maltaverne will wrap up with his own take on the key themes that emerge. They are published in no order other than when they are received through our digital letterbox.
Continuing this year’s series of wishes from expert tech and service providers, let’s hear today from Donna Wilczek, SVP, Product Strategy at global technology platform for Business Spend Management, Coupa.
My three wishes:
1. The supply chain becomes more inclusive
The corporate world is no stranger to the benefits of supplier diversity programs. Brands like UPS, Kroger, Walmart, Best Buy and many more are well-recognized for their efforts, constantly upping commitments to invest in diverse suppliers and make an impact in local communities. Over the past year, a recent MIT survey found that companies’ commitments to improving supplier diversity has increased by 5% and investments increased by 10%. However, there is still much more work to be done and I hope to see exponential interest and growth in these programs and investments in the years ahead. Such ambitious goals for change and inclusivity demand scalable solutions , which is why supplier diversity factors must be embedded throughout the purchasing process. It’s not enough to just report on progress. Supplier diversity purchasing decisions must happen in real-time. It’s the only way a company’s good intentions can be turned into meaningful actions that have measurable impact.
2. Businesses embrace circularity and sustainable technology
Businesses are facing increasing regulatory pressure to be more sustainable to combat the already-present threats of climate change. Circular supply chains are the next logical step by repurposing goods and materials for multiple uses, like retailers sourcing recycled denim or car windshield makers buying broken glass. But, a truly circular supply chain is rare today because of limited established markets or access to tools that make it easy to identify alternative goods. Next year, I want to see more businesses step up to this challenge. We need greater involvement in groups like the First Movers Coalition, which was born out of COP26, for businesses to use their collective purchasing power to create a market need for this type of technology at scale.
3. Employees become the drivers of change and corporate impact
We are at a time when employees are hungry to contribute to a greater good. Stakeholder capitalism has never been more salient. This presents business leaders an opportunity to not just embed a sense of purpose into their corporation, but operationalize it. Leaders must offer their workforce a more direct connection to their core values, and explore new technologies that enable them to drive world-changing impact. Next year, I hope to see employees have more access to tools that allow them to make meaningful progress towards sustainability, diversity, and more, with every action they take as part of their job.
Thanks to Coupa, and look out for more solution and services provider wishes/predictions over the next few weeks, with an overall take on the series from our analysts at the end. See more vendor predictions and wishes here with our analyst commentary from last year.
If you are looking for procurement technology to help with your wishes for 2022, try out Spend Matters TechMatch℠ to benchmark and shortlist providers.