Are We Approaching a ‘Breaking Point?’
A Spitfire doing its thing. (iStock/Gav_Muncaster)
It’s been said that we should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Well, we’ve had our “good crisis” during the past 12 months and counting, so certainly we’ve taken advantage of the pandemic’s disruption to make dramatic supply chain improvements, right?
Eh, let’s just say that Winston Churchill, credited with the above aphorism, might be shaking his head and smoking furiously right about now — at least if one of his aides were unfortunate enough to drop a copy of Tealbook’s new “2021 Supplier Information Study” on his desk. (Yes, Churchill had even bigger things on his mind, but let’s go with it.)
Tealbook said its research found that, one year into the COVID-19 crisis, a whopping 72% of procurement leaders “are very concerned that their supplier intelligence has still not improved to crisis-proof supply chains.”
“COVID-19 was a wake-up call to organizations around the world. Without a solid data foundation in place, the next big disruption could be even more disastrous for supply chains,” said Stephany Lapierre, CEO of Tealbook. “Access to up-to-date supplier data will afford companies the agility necessary to weather future disruptions, but also to make the most of supplier innovations in a rapidly evolving landscape.”
Tealbook is a supplier intelligence platform, which makes Lapierre a little like the guy who sold Spitfires to Churchill’s government: Not exactly impartial, but worth listening to.
The Supplier Information Study, conducted with Wakefield Research, warns that future disruptions might push supply chains to “the breaking point without immediate foundational improvements.” Other findings:
- 96% of procurement professionals say agility is even more important than cost savings for their companies’ bottom lines.
- 57% of procurement leaders reported that they are “still relying on antiquated, manual data entry, compounding the time and resources to update supplier information.”
- Secondary concerns included missing out on innovation (30%), falling behind the competition (25%) and not being able to determine ROI (22%).
- Lastly, “this inability to be agile is compounded by the cost of adding a single supplier record, which procurement leaders estimated to be $2,431. Perhaps most alarmingly, a third of procurement leaders (33%) admit they have no way of knowing how much a supplier record costs.”
“In short,” Tealbook concludes, “there are a staggering number of critical issues that organizations are facing as a result of inadequate supplier data. Not only did 41% of procurement leaders find their supplier data inadequate during the COVID-19 pandemic, a concerning 26% found it mostly or completely inadequate, reflecting a data foundation that’s nowhere near strong enough to stand up to current or future supply chain disruptions.”
Want to read more? The study can be downloaded here.