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How to use agility to stay in control of your procurement process

Supply chains like stability. But over the last two years, disruption has been the norm

COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and the shortage of materials have all highlighted vulnerabilities across the supply chain.

Today, the case for agility in procurement has never been clearer.

Organisations are rethinking how to future-proof their supply chains, building them on visibility, equality and trust. In doing so, these more flexible procurement processes aim to deliver value and reduce risk.

Why does agility in procurement matter?

So what does agility in procurement actually mean?

Certain words spring to mind. Flexibility. Adaptability. Being able to move quickly and easily.

But in procurement terms, supply chain agility is not just restricted to making quick decisions. It’s about having an in-depth understanding of the market, making data-based decisions and working collaboratively to build resilience.

Procurement agility means greater supply chain visibility, pricing transparency and supplier location clarity. Which in turn, ensures greater regulatory compliance, risk planning and added value.

As a result, businesses are able to:

  • Plan for risk: Identify risk and react to it, finding alternative suppliers to mitigate that risk.
  • Strengthen supplier relationships: Build trust and lines of communication with suppliers.
  • Maximise revenue: Act fast to deliver greater value in multiple ways.
Yellow spring

Overcoming procurement agility challenges

But while procurement should be agile, that’s often easier said than done.

Businesses wanting to move away from traditional procurement frameworks towards supply chain agility are finding a number of challenges in their way. These include:

  • Inflexibility: If a procurement team’s skillset is limited, it will show in their performance. More flexible organisations can ensure teams are equipped with the skills, capabilities and experience they need to boost problem solving, collaboration and team performance.
  • Lack of responsiveness: Businesses need the latest technology and processes to enable supply chain security and planning, but often procurement processes are set up for efficiency, not adaptability.
  • Diminishing value: Traditional organisations may struggle to deliver value without compromising service and quality. Value generation means taking an agile approach to addressing business requirements and customer demand.
  • Lack of focus: A traditional business may focus on short-term growth and cost reduction rather than value creation through innovative suppliers and business ideas. An agile business needs to see the bigger picture, focusing on issues such as sustainability and zero waste as ways to drive value.

Suffice it to say, procurement teams have a lot to contend with. They need to ensure supply chains meet customer expectations, manage omnichannel requirements and respond to short product lifecycles. But with the right steps in your procurement process, the whole business can reap the rewards of operational and structural agility.

Colourful wooden blocks

Linney: lessons in procurement agility

Faced with continued uncertainty, innovation is the route to a more resilient, agile supply chain. Future-proofing procurement means leveraging supply chains, unlocking value and aligning procurement agility with corporate strategy.

If you’re making the move towards greater agility in procurement, Linney can help. Here are just some of the areas in which we can help your business achieve supply chain agility and procurement best practice:

  • Print: You want a supplier that can offer stability as well as materials. Linney has been around for 170 years and is a sustainable and ethical supplier, focused on zero waste. We’ll help you consider the environmental, social and economic factors of your procurement processes.
  • Digital: We offer expertise across web design, social, UX, digital signage – all under one roof. Whatever service you need, it can be added into the mix and scaled on a project-by-project basis. Linney is a flexible, multichannel provider, switching between print and digital. As channels adapt, so too can your contractual arrangements.
  • Insight: Linney provides agile insight when needed throughout a project so your brand can operate and launch products at speed and scale.
  • Retail marketing services: We offer in-house speed and expertise. By designing and building everything in one place – from printed material to 3D displays – we’re less reliant on external supply chains and can respond to changes in the economy and retail world with ease.

Contact Linney

At Linney, we recognise that the supply chain is a growth driver, not an exercise in cost cutting. We can find omnichannel solutions to your supply chain requirements. Find out how Linney can help your business take a smarter, more agile approach to procurement today.