The resilience of global supply chains has been put to the test like never before in recent years and the pressure continues. Issues such as Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, global shortages from semiconductors to labour and now an energy crisis, have created logistical as well as economic turmoil.
For the first time in decades, the public and organizations can no longer assume that shelves (physical or virtual) will be stocked with products they need and want, placing the spotlight on not only the complexity and fragility but also the importance of supply chains. At the same time, demand has continued to increase for organizations to operate in a sustainable, responsible and ethical way. In fact, Deloitte’s recent survey of consumer attitudes and behaviors around sustainability shows 40 percent of respondents in the UK choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values.
The shift towards sustainable and ethical business
As Jonathan O’Brien, CEO of Positive Purchasing, observes, almost everyone is talking about sustainability in some form. However, between 50 and 70 percent of all initiatives involve the supply base in some way. He is one of the many experts who will converge at the Connaught Rooms in London on September 20th for eWorld Procurement and Supply.
During one of the many sessions taking place at the one-day conference and exhibition, Jonathan will explain that while procurement is a critical enabler for sustainability, driving change throughout the supply base is the biggest challenge. Addressing senior business executives who are responsible for implementing or sourcing web-enabled procurement and supply chain strategies and technologies within their own organizations, he will share insight into how to implement sustainable procurement program.
Michelle Mellor, Head of Purchasing at Krempel, will focus on the benefits that sustainable and ethical procurement can deliver when done correctly by qualified and experienced procurement professionals. Michelle will explain how diversity, sustainability and an ethical approach does not mean sacrificing the commercial benefits that procurement can deliver.
Supplier diversity and unconscious bias
The importance of supplier diversity and unconscious bias will be considered in a thought-provoking exploration of how these can impact the buying process. The session will be led by Jason Roberts, CEO and Founder of Kaleida International (a B2B marketplace for tenders focused on helping buyers find, assess and invite diverse suppliers), and held under Chatham House Rules, creating a safe space for questions to be asked with impunity. He will consider how the adoption of diversity and inclusionary practices within the procurement function can tackle the very core of unconscious bias while leading to improved, successful outcomes for diverse suppliers.
The value of responsible sourcing
Recognizing how the supply chain and procurement functions are facing more challenges than ever, whether due to trade wars, increasing legislation or the inertia of the global pandemic, Miranda Murphy, Principal Consultant at Sedex, will provide insight into how responsible sourcing can bring resiliency and future-proofing to a business or supply chain, creating a shared value for the organization as well as its customers, the environment and society in general.
A look to the future
Procurement’s long-term future is bright, even if the short-term remains challenging. Having proven its value in these times of crisis, procurement must continue to build on its successes to meet the challenges ahead. Bigger stakeholder support and the emergence of new technologies will help counter these challenges but keeping abreast of these new technologies and driving value from data will be key.
eWorld Procurement and Supply is the UK’s most comprehensive forum for new innovations and technology applications within the procurement and supply chain function. For further details about the event, and to register for free attendance, please visit: www.eworld-procurement.com