2021 Procurement and Supply Chain Predictions from the market — Efficio and Transfermate

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Continuing our series of procurement and supply predictions, today let’s look at what procurement consultancy Efficio has to say:

With thanks to Simon Lipscomb, Sales and Marketing Director:

1. A sharper focus on sustainability 

As we enter the post-COVID-19 period, we predict there will be a sharper focus on sustainability than ever before. Governments in Europe will use post-Covid stimulus investment to drive the agenda, and the Biden administration in the US will place heavier emphasis on sustainability in the world’s largest economy. Increasingly, consumers will make purchasing decisions based on a company’s sustainability credentials and as such, it will become a key competitive differentiator in many industries — making issues of procurement and supply chain more important to Boards of Directors than ever before.

2. Transparent supply chains

The significance of transparent supply chains will become more apparent. With the unprecedented interruption to global supply chains earlier in the year, due to whole country and manufacturing shut downs from COVID-19, many companies were caught out — realising they didn’t have good visibility of the make up their supply chain and were unable to react quickly to events. We believe the approach to purchasing will alter, and companies will become more cautious undertaking workstreams to meticulously map out their supply chain, the risks within, and increase overall transparency of how goods and materials flow through it.

3. Prioritising cost reduction and in-year savings 

Additionally, the challenging economic environment will make the topic of cost reduction and in-year savings a key priority for many companies in 2021. The skills and experience of good procurement professionals will become much more in demand, as many companies look to rebuild their businesses for the future.

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And in further coverage of procurement and supply predictions for 2021 we heard this from B2B payments technology experts Transfermate.

With thanks to Gary Conroy, Chief Product Officer.

Going into 2021 with multiple vaccine options on the horizon, the temptation is to believe old ways of working will return to normal. The way of working and the impact of technology will long outlast the pandemic. The year 2020 will be viewed as the moment mega-trends were accelerated and brought to life by the necessity of continuing operations with limited physical movement during a pandemic. These three trends will continue unabated into 2021:

1. Embedded Payments as a Service

B2B payments technology is enabling a consumer-like, digital-first experience via open APIs. The rise of open payments interfaces (such as TransferMate’s API suite) allows platforms from treasury to accounts payables to embed Payments as a Service into their offerings. The users thus stay within the platform interface and avoid the need to transfer files back and forth between silo-ed systems. This trend will accelerate in 2021 with more platforms looking to enhance customer stickiness through embedded B2B payments.

2. Increased supervisory regulation and innovation

2020 has provided both an example of the failure and the power of regulation. Wirecard, the insolvent German payment processor, provided a lesson in the importance of rigorous audit and risk oversight. While later in 2020, Ant Financial’s suspended IPO informed of the rise of Chinese regulation. However, the real power of regulation may yet lie in the power to drive innovation and competition via open banking initiatives. In July 2020, the UK had 480 million API calls in July 2020, yet only 0.2% were payment initiation calls. I predict the number of payment initiation calls will grow at least 20-fold over the next 12 months. Companies that can take advantage of such innovation opportunities will succeed.

3. “Glocal” global local solutions

Despite the rise of nationalist and protectionist politics, technology is enabling companies to reach a global audience at an ever-increasing rate. It is one thing to reach this audience, but another entirely to service this audience. The trend towards global solutions that cater for local needs will accelerate as technology companies continue to serve a global audience.

Thanks to Efficio and Transfermate, and look out for more solution provider predictions over the coming week, with an overall take on the series from our analysts at the end. See all of the 2021 vendor predictions here.

*Please note that the order of vendor predictions in this series is based entirely on the order in which they dropped onto our digital doorstep, nothing more. 

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