2021 procurement outlook

Four key priorities for procurement organizations in the year ahead

The COVID-19 pandemic affected all industries—and in procurement, the health crisis exposed the ramifications of disjointed processes and technologies. Yet, some enterprises are faring better than others in the evolving postpandemic world. Discover how those organizations recovered so quickly.

Focus areas coming out of the crisis

Looking ahead, though the ramifications of the pandemic will reverberate, we see there being four key areas that will drive procurement priorities and strategies in 2021 and beyond. The common theme across all is the evident need for holistic transformation to best-in-class procurement.



Cost management

The current highest priority for CPOs is cost management. According to Deloitte’s CPO Flash Survey, CPOs put eight times as much focus on this than on other priorities. Facing an uncertain economy and thoroughly disrupted business landscape, finding opportunities to reduce spend supports sustainability.


Third-party management

In successful procurement operations, risk must be tightly managed. Extended enterprise risk management, also called third-party risk management (TPRM), is a core enabler. With instances of fraud, the need for regulatory compliance, and the direct impact on operations and revenue, TPRM will remain a procurement priority.


Talent investments

As employees worked from home, it presented challenges for collaboration, and CPOs faced the dual imperative to equip and train their teams to work in this new online environment while also catering to their wellbeing and empowering their efforts.


Flexible supply chains and data

After years of striving for high efficiency with a “just in time” philosophy, the pandemic revealed the inflexibility of global supply chains. Today, the challenge is to balance efficiency with the risk of supply disruption.

The next normal

With COVID-19 vaccines already being deployed, the pandemic’s end is in sight. Looking ahead, there’s the potential for there to be winners and losers in procurement based on which enterprises move quickly to bring together agility, efficiency, resilience, and strategy. The moment is now to reshape and elevate procurement. Those who seize the opportunity to invest and grow will be positioned to thrive in times of calm and prepared for whatever the future brings.

The Deloitte and Coupa alliance

For more than a decade, Deloitte and Coupa have worked with enterprises across the globe to transform their procurement operations and unleash growth and value. Conceived and refined through years of implementations, our methodology leverages design thinking and accelerators to drive the timeline, capture value, minimize risk, and bring your category management strategy to life.

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