At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in 20 UK companies diversified their procurement supply chains to minimize disruption, according to an ONS report.
Now, search data collected by Banner shows that procurement professionals have many questions about the realities of diversification, particularly when it comes to managing relationships, measuring their environmental impact and ensuring products are ethically manufactured
Banner’s Jason Thomas says: “During the pandemic, it made sense for companies to diversify their supply chains. The more individual suppliers they could manage, the less likely they would experience major disruptions. But the reality of having many different relationships is becoming apparent, and it makes things like sustainability and ethics that much harder to keep track of.
“The problem is that supply chains are still unstable, so we’re not proposing to anyone to go back to having a supplier for every product or service. However, there is a middle ground. Supply chain partners are a sensible alternative that offers the best of both worlds in terms of ease of management and supply chain robustness, sustainability and ethics.”
Searches involving the term “sustainable procurement” show that professionals are not only looking for how this can be achieved, but also what it is. They also frequently search for “ethical sourcing practices” and “how to ensure ethical sourcing.” However, the most common searches in the UK that include the term ‘supply chain’ are ‘will supply chains get better’, ‘when will supply chain problems be solved’ and even ‘supply chain management for dummies’.