sourcing and procurement

The year 2024 is a promising one with businesses reaching sky-high predictions. But it still has a few bumps on the road, keeping everyone on their toes. With the pandemic, three years ago, supply chains had to modify themselves accordingly. Now that everything’s back to “normal”, how have certain things changed, especially in the sourcing and procurement sector?

We will explore cutting-edge strategies, industry best practices, and emerging trends shaping sourcing or procurement in supply chains. From leveraging technology to streamline processes to building relationships with suppliers, this insight provides businesses with the insights they need to move towards a more robust supply chain to make the organisation successful.

Procurement serves as the central nerve of your business, uniquely poised to foster agility within your organisation and fortify resilience across the board. Companies can achieve it through adept inventory management strategies and rigorous cost control measures.

Difference Between Sourcing and Procurement

Sourcing refers to finding the products or services internally. Companies can do this through partnerships or joint ventures or companies. This includes buying or sourcing materials from buyers, off-the-shelf providers or even through auctions or bidding.

Global sourcing meaning also includes a longer lead time than purchasing. This means there is a waiting time for the products before you can start to use them. On the other hand, procurement refers to the process of acquiring goods and services on behalf of a business.

Supply chain players can conduct procurement by direct purchases from suppliers, intermediaries, formal contracts, or informal arrangements. The goal of purchasing is to obtain lower costs and faster delivery times. Purchasing can also involve issuing written contracts between buyers and sellers.

But that is not all, like all other aspects sourcing and procurement in supply chain management is also constantly evolving. These trends will govern how the supply chain functions and its efficiency as well.  

12 Key Emerging Trends in Sourcing and Procurement

Here are some of the trends of sourcing and procurement in the supply chain:

1. Automation and Artificial Intelligence 

Currently, “AI” is the buzzword in the corporate sector. With Technology 4.0, AI has started to show its presence in the supply chain industry as well. Machine Learning (ML) and Robotic Automation (RPA) are the two ways that automation affects procurement. Machine learning can learn from past behaviour. This allows automation of certain tasks like inventory management and spend analytics.

RPA is a form of automation where the AI learns human behaviour. Companies can use it to automate repetitive manual tasks. For instance, the supply chain industry can automate invoice processing. 

2. Blockchain

Using blockchain in procurement means that every player in the supply chain has visibility on the entire process. It also allows for the highest degree of security for the entire process. There are two applications within the blockchain like chain of custody and batch tracking that are significant to procurement. 

Building trust throughout the entire supply chain speaks to the emerging importance of the Blockchain and its importance to procurement.

3. Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions make it easier and cheaper to handle procurement tasks. These solutions are more flexible and can grow with your needs. They also integrate better with other systems. Making sure you have plans in place to recover data if something goes wrong is crucial when using cloud solutions.

4. Compliance

Compliance is about following rules and regulations. In procurement, it means sticking to standards and controlling spending within an approved framework. This helps manage risks and ensures everything is done legally. As rules change, businesses need to be flexible and adapt their procurement policies.

5. Digital Tools

Digital tools are changing how supply chains are managed. Things like automated sourcing and predictive analytics are making processes faster and more efficient. By moving from manual to digital processes, teams can handle procurement tasks better. 

These tools help manage relationships with suppliers, handle contracts, keep track of inventory, and control costs. They are the latest innovation that has transformed the sourcing and procurement process flow process in supply chains.

6. Risk Management 

With the global supply chain constantly expanding, it is bound to face more risks· For this, it needs proper risk management· Risk management plays an important role in the supply chain process· It identifies, assesses and mitigates potential threats that might disrupt the flow of goods and services·

This phenomenon is there to anticipate challenges like natural disasters, supplier features or geopolitical instability· It also helps to develop strategies that can mitigate their impact·

Effective risk management ensures continuous operations, increases flexibility, and enables proactive decision-making to manage uncertainty among suppliers, distributors and stakeholders·

7. Innovation 

Innovation has emerged as a critical component of procurement strategies· This has become so important that organisations are forging partnerships with suppliers to foster the development of new technologies and products aimed at enhancing profitability·

While traditional methods have historically dominated procurement practices, there’s been a noticeable shift towards embracing innovation· Sourcing and procurement in supply chains have swiftly adapted to these changing trends, poised to leverage the rapid pace of innovation in this domain· 

8. Collaborative Platforms 

Platforms like e-sourcing and reverse auctions enable organisations to find more efficient, cost-effective ways to source goods and services. Such platforms within the organisations allow you to govern how your procurement can undergo modernisation. 

With the help of quick and easy internal communication, coupled with robust supplier communication is one of the key measures of procurement practices. Collaboration tools allow you to partner with your suppliers and internal stakeholders alike to quickly execute robust negotiations, effective fulfilment, and comprehensive spend management & analysis.

9. Increased Focus on Sustainability

Organisations prioritise sustainability. They can recognise the vital role that procurement plays in sourcing eco-friendly products and services. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practises gain prominence, crucial for investor appeal and overall organisational value. Strategic sourcing and procurement teams contribute significantly to investors’ perception of value, emphasising sustainable practices.

10. Agile Supplier Management

Given the business’s dynamic nature, agile supplier management is paramount. Understanding supplier capabilities and swiftly adapting to market shifts is essential. While originating from software development, agile principles apply to procurement, ensuring alignment with consumer needs and customer-centric decision-making. Collaboration with like-minded suppliers is crucial for success.

11. Corporate Social Responsibility Takes Center Stage

A global wave of dissatisfaction prompts a focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR). Businesses recognize the need for significant changes in environmental, employee, and community support initiatives. Adapting to these demands strengthens a business’s reputation and acceptance, while failure to do so results in declining support. Embracing CSR throughout the supply chain reflects a commitment to a fairer and more equitable world, essential for future-oriented organisations.

12. Adjusting to the New Normal

Events in 2024 highlight existing vulnerabilities and the importance of strategic planning. Sourcing and procurement face unprecedented challenges. Therefore businesses need to adapt and innovate. While uncertainties remain, proactive planning and flexibility allow companies to manage risks and take advantage of changing opportunities, allowing them to continue to thrive condition in an ever-changing

FAQs: Mastering Sourcing and Procurement: Tactics, Trends, and Techniques

What is source procurement?

Sourcing procurement involves the process of identifying, evaluating, and selecting suppliers or vendors to obtain products or services needed to meet an organisation’s business needs

How can organisations best integrate sustainability practices into their sourcing and procurement processes?

Organisations can integrate sustainable practices by setting clear sustainability objectives, taking into account the sustainability performance of suppliers, and non-productive resources prioritising the environment, and fostering collaboration with suppliers committed to sustainable practices

What emerging trends in sourcing and procurement should businesses prioritise?

Trends like the digitisation of procurement processes, the adoption of advanced analytics for data-driven decision-making, and supplier diversity and practices derive priority from an emphasis on ethics to compete in the marketplace


Companies have to navigate a complex environment of sourcing and procurement habits and processes. As the new normal unfolds, strategic planning and proactive measures are essential to success in an ever-changing environment. Consult with the experts at Qodenext.

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