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Having just come through a year no one could have predicted, the team here at Boston Hale are looking forward to a 2021 with a few less surprises. Our Senior Consultants have been putting together 5 predictions for the year across each of Boston Hale’s key practice areas. 

Rightly so Procurement and Supply Chain are leading the way! I’ve compiled 5 of my predictions into a shortlist of trends to look out for in 2021.


1.Increased Visibility and Importance
The challenges presented by 2020’s global pandemic have changed most all organisations’ budgets, spend strategies and suppliers. These changes have brought Procurement and Supply Chain into stark focus. Companies now have a better appreciation of the importance of an agile, comprehensive and effective Procurement Function and may look to build on their existing infrastructure this year.

This increased visibility will undoubtedly effect how Procurement functions operate in 2021…


2. Compliance Reviews:
The increased visibility of Procurement has also brought some negative attention. Particularly in the Public Sector non-compliant and non-competitive spend is being noticed and queried. Covid-19 forced many to procure more quickly, using new suppliers and unconventional methods. The results of this were varied and to many have reaffirmed the importance of proper compliance. National News organisations have given significant coverage to ‘scandals’ involving the way in which PPE budgets were spent in articles that are likely to haunt the UK well into the next general election. Public Sector Procurement will want to make sure everything is done ‘by the book’ this year.


3. Supply Risk Assessments:
Always a hot topic within Procurement and Supply Chain. With only 34% of businesses operating with an active SC Risk Management Program - the chaos caused by Covid-19 may well prompt a few reviews. Boston Hale expects professionals with experience in this area to be in demand in 2021. Many organisations may look either to consultants to review their Supply Chain Risk or to introduce a more permanent solution to managing it.


4. Navigating Demand Volatility
As the government introduces, lifts and reintroduces different Covid restrictions many supply chains are facing their biggest inconsistencies in years. Organisations will need to be alert for rapid changes in demand and be able to quickly upscale their Procurement and Supply Chain capacities to cope. The more agile an organisation the better its response will be. Here at Boston Hale we’re already experiencing increased demand in interim support - BAU remains unlikely some way into Q1.


5. A move to zero carbon
2020 was a good year for Climate Change. The successes of environmentally conscious companies like Tesla, the popularity of ESG investing and the prominence of the environment during the US election campaigns all demonstrated a renewed global intention for action. This action will effect everyone this year, particularly those within 2021’s more visible Procurement and Supply Chain functions.
Organisations are looking to publish their Carbon Emissions in Annual Reports and Surveys as trends towards ‘zero carbon’ have become strong indicators of success. These reports are coming under increased scrutiny and now must also account for and company’s suppliers’ carbon scores. 2021 will no doubt see Procurement place a far greater weight on environmental factors during supplier evaluation.

NHS England and Improvement outlined some of their key goals in this area at their most recent P4H conference which Boston Hale attended and discussed in this blog


These trends are likely to affect all Procurement functions in some way this year. If you’d like to get a head start on 2021 and recruit the best talent to take you through it, Boston Hale are ready to partner with you.

Our team are well versed in providing quick, professional and market-leading solutions to all your Procurement and Supply Chain recruitment needs. If you’re interested in finding out more or discussing anything in this blog, please drop me a line.

Number: 020 3762 2497



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