7 Actions Procurement is Taking in Response to COVID-19

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Procurement has a vital role to play when managing the impact of the Covid-19 virus.  We surveyed CASME subscribers to understand the actions being taken to minimise the impact of supply chain disruption.  Although some arrangements are considered too sensitive to share by certain companies, the key action points from the survey are as follows:

  1. Map suppliers and identify those located in high-risk geographies, in order to understand the extent of the potential problem
  2. Prioritise the sourcing of protective equipment for employees, such as masks
  3. Plan for worst-case scenarios by understanding which items being sourced are likely to be delayed or impacted
  4. Speed up the introduction of alternative suppliers
  5. Increase safety stock levels
  6. Request that employees in high-risk areas work from home, where possible, and avoid public transport
  7. Cancel team meetings/regional conferences.  Implement a travel ban covering China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open with suppliers, so that they chose to inform the organisation of developments and challenges being faced.
The value of supplier relationship management (SRM) programmes can really pay off in a crisis.  Consider whether a supplier will treat the organisation as a priority customer if stocks are limited.

Procurement must also communicate internally, work with stakeholders to avoid scaremongering, and focus on developing and successfully implementing action plans for risk mitigation. 




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