Afternoon Coffee: Procurement professionals now prefer remote operations to do business; CAE expands European presence; Vaccine analysis finds faster not always better

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New analysis from McKinsey & Company found that the Covid pandemic has altered the way procurement buyers do business, with a majority choosing omnichannel interactions over in-person, according to Supply Chain Dive.

As of February, more than two-thirds of survey respondents chose to do ordering through remote human interactions and digital options while one-third opted to order through traditional interactions. Buyers are choosing remote, digital self-service and in-person channels to facilitate procurement needs, the article said.

The report also found that these digital practices are likely to stay. About 80% of business leaders surveyed said omnichannel is “as (effective) or more effective than traditional methods,” the article said.

Semiconductor trader CAE expands European presence

CAE, a US-based physical commodity trader for semiconductor capital equipment, announced an expanded European presence with new facilities in Belarus and Hungary.

Through this latest investment in European-based operations, CAE is expected to double its European footprint over the next three years with facilities in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

"CAE has developed major growth opportunities throughout Europe to provide extensive support to our global client base," Ryan Jacob, chief executive officer for CAE, said in the press release. "Europe has been a technology leader for decades, but in some ways, it is approaching a new renaissance. CAE is rapidly building its presence across the continent to serve local clients and position itself for the growth we anticipate across Europe in the next five years. Unlike other companies, we are building a business in Europe, because we believe in the future of Europe and its talent set.”

The European expansion comes on the heels of a global semiconductor shortage that has hurt the automotive industry especially hard. President Joe Biden has committed to reviewing and improving the US supply chain for semiconductors and other products. These different efforts might speed up the time it takes to restore traditional supply levels.

Vaccine analysis finds that faster is not always better when expanding eligibility requirements

In the effort to mass vaccinate a country with the COVID-19 vaccine, new analysis of states found that faster is not always better when it comes to opening eligibility requirements, according to the Associated Press.

The new analysis found that states like South Carolina or Florida that raced ahead of others to offer the vaccine to a larger share of the population have vaccinated smaller shares of the population. States that moved slower and more methodically, like Hawaii or Connecticut, have fared better.

Experts say it could be because rapid expansion of eligibility caused a surge in demand too big for some states to handle and led to serious disarray, the article said. Vaccine supplies were insufficient and unpredictable — leading to crashed websites, jammed phone lines, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many.

“The infrastructure just wasn’t ready. It kind of backfired,” Dr. Rebecca Wurtz, an infectious disease physician and health data specialist at the University of Minnesota, told the Associated Press. “In the rush to satisfy everyone, governors satisfied few and frustrated many.”

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