Before you panic and start stockpiling water, food, and medical supplies in preparation for the latest global pandemic, take a few steps to make sure you don’t waste your hard-earned money on useless items. Here are 6 steps you can take to ensure that your corporate procurement plan includes only the most useful goods and services in an emergency situation.
1) Stay informed
Being informed is one of the best ways to stay safe. While there’s no way to predict when or where an outbreak will occur, there are precautionary measures you can take to mitigate exposure. Some of these can be particularly challenging depending on your company’s size and location, but it’s crucial that you look into each of them. A procurement consulting firm can help with identifying opportunities and ensuring your business stays safe during an outbreak.
2) Know your options
Be aware of your options. A pandemic may lead to a short supply of goods and services, which means you’ll have to procure them from other sources, such as suppliers or alternative channels. Contact your procurement consulting firm to discuss industry information and seek their input on your strategy. Ask them how they would help you execute it. If they’re not able to assist with procuring products during an emergency situation, ask whether they can recommend procurement companies in the USA who can help out.
3) Assess your needs and risks
Before making any purchasing decisions, conduct an internal assessment to determine your organization’s needs and risks. Gather data on your organization’s past purchasing history and future anticipated purchases. Determine how many people will be involved in procurement during a pandemic outbreak—and what their roles are likely to be. Consider how long employees will need to remain at work and how much they will rely on outside resources.
4) Get your contract right
Before you sign on with a company that provides procurement solutions, make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Here are some questions to ask:
What sort of background check does your company perform on its partners? Does it work only with U.S.-based companies or international ones as well? Are there any limits on how long your business relationship must last?How can I trust you won’t charge me exorbitant prices during a pandemic? How much will my procurement contract cost, and what is my liability if it doesn’t work out? What happens if your company goes out of business before my contract expires?
5) Know your suppliers
As with everything else, in times of pandemics and other emergencies, you will want to know your suppliers. Know which suppliers can provide you with key products and services during an emergency and which ones might not be able to meet your needs. This is especially important for suppliers that are based overseas because it could affect how quickly you can procure them. Work with procurement consulting firms to ensure that you understand exactly what their capacity is during a pandemic or emergency situation.
6) Check with regulators
Before you do anything else, it’s important to check with local and federal regulators to ensure that your plan is legally compliant. This is especially important during a pandemic outbreak. It could take weeks or months before any supplies arrive at all; you don’t want to start hoarding food or medicines only to find out later that it was illegal.
To take these steps, your organization needs to establish strong relationships with procurement consulting firms that can partner with your business on special projects and other corporate initiatives. Procurement companies in the USA can offer full-service solutions to help you get everything you need during a pandemic while mitigating your risk exposure.