Sustainable procurement and supply chains

From April to May 2022, the German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME), in cooperation with ESB Business School and Onventis, investigated the interplay between digitalization and long-term stabilization of supply chains in procurement organisations in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The results are intended to support procurement managers in making B2B procurement fit for the future.

For the fourth time, Onventis, BME, and the ESB Business School asked midsize businesses for an assessment of the status quo in procurement. This procurement study puts the digital advancement of procurement organisations in the DACH-region to the test. In addition, this year’s survey examines what measures procurement has taken to implement sustainability and stabilise supply chains. A total of 245 procurement managers participated in the survey, which was conducted from April – May 2022.

In the Procurement Barometer 2022, you can find out how digitized German purchasing organizations really are, which trends are currently moving the SME procurement market the most, and how you can set up your purchasing digitally and, above all, sustainably.

Participants from midsize enterprises
Manufacturing sector
Turnover of between €50 million and €1 billion p.a.

The challenges currently facing companies are many and varied: the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, from supply
bottlenecks and delivery delays to increased cost pressure, climate change, social responsibility, and increasing pressure from society and legal regulations. At the heart of this is procurement, which plays a key role in building sustainable and resilient supply chains. That means procurement teams play a key role: They are the drivers for the overall success and competitiveness of businesses. The most important foundation for this is still the digital transformation of procurement processes. This enables procurement to pursue sustainability goals, improve resilience and risk management, and comply with legal regulations.

What the BME says about sustainability in Procurement

Current market trends: CSR is the hottest topic in procurement

Businesses are under pressure to respond to current trends. Sustainable development relies on applying future-oriented technologies and political requirements to remain competitive. And procurement plays a central role in this.
When surveyed about what trends are currently an issue, it becomes clear that topics surrounding CSR – like sustainability, climate goals, and the Supply Chain Act – are mentioned most frequently. Unsurprisingly, the Supply Chain Act is in first place. It is
interesting to note that SMEs and large midsize enterprises are on almost equal footing in this regard. SMEs are likely responding
to requirements from larger companies to comply with new regulations. AI is also increasing in importance for procurement

Sustainability goals, the Supply Chain Act, and climate goals are the hottest topics in procurement.

Supply Chain Act
Mittelständische Großunternehmen 27%
KMU 30%
Sustainability goals
Mittelständische Großunternehmen 30%
KMU 23%
Climate goals
Mittelständische Großunternehmen 15%
KMU 13%
= Large medium-sized companies   = SMEs
Read the full answers in the Procurement Barometer 2022

Holistic procurement solutions in midsize companies: Implementation

The demands in the procurement environment are constantly growing due to current issues like risks in the supply chain, socially responsible behaviour, and sustainability goals. Procurement managers are caught between the conflicting demands of security of supply, quality assurance, and cost savings. A digital Source-to-Pay (S2P) solution that digitally covers the entire procurement process can help. They are considered more sustainable solutions in terms of both medium- and long-term costs and efficiency. Still, almost all SMEs (97%) and almost three-quarters of large midsize enterprises do not use an end-to-end procurement suite. The remaining fourth of the larger enterprises reports either already using a procurement solution or is planning on one for the future.

Procurement Barometer 2022

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