Wakefield and Tealbook Study: The Impact of COVID on Procurement

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After witnessing the way unprecedented supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 affected every industry, Tealbook commissioned a new study through Wakefield Research to delve deeper into the problems procurement leaders and supply chains are now facing, and how they plan to move forward. Here’s a snapshot of what we found. 

Read the full study here.

In Procurement, Agility is Everything

When COVID-19 hit, procurement leaders learned that agility is a necessary trait to maintain resilience during a crisis. 

Procurement has always been tasked with cost reduction, creating processes and strategy, digital transformation, and risk mitigation. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the complexity of all of those tasks and made sourcing impossible for teams with unreliable data and singular supply sources. Many organizations were unable to source what they needed, falling short when it mattered most. 

Agility became a predominant concern. In the study, CPOs were asked if agility or cost-savings was more important to their organization’s future. A shocking 96% of procurement leaders agreed that being agile was more critical than cost savings for their companies’ bottom line (over the long-term). 

A Renewed interest in supplier innovation

Innovation is what drives businesses forward. But the pandemic has slowed down many initiatives over the past year. Programs to drive supplier diversity and ESG compliance were stymied by scrambling to contend with new challenges.

Our study found 30% of procurement leaders fear they’re missing out on supplier innovation. We define supplier innovation as the cutting edge and out-of-the box ways suppliers are adapting to modern supply chain demands. The procurement leaders concerned with missing out fear that their organizations are not positioned to start new relationships with the best and brightest suppliers. 

Procurement Leaders Are Still Managing Data Manually

In the age of technology, you’d expect the procurement industry to be flush with automated tools. However, our findings show the exact opposite. An astounding 57% of procurement leaders are still entering supplier data manually. That’s three out of every five procurement leaders.

Three out of five procurement leaders are still manually updating their supplier data.

There are many issues with manual data entry:

  •       It leaves room for human error
  •       It takes time away from strategic planning and higher level procurement operations
  •       It’s expensive to outsource data enrichment, only to have it be out-of-date again in a matter of days

The cost of manual data management is unnecessary, especially when automated data entry (and cleaning) solutions are now available. Procurement businesses should be using these platforms so they can focus on making calculated business decisions.


Our full study, conducted by Wakefield Research, reveals more valuable insights into the state of procurement following the events of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to download the full study.

Tealbook will be hosting a webinar series to dive deeper into our findings and discuss their impact on the procurement landscape.

Register for the webinar series here.

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