Kronos Group

What measures can you take to adapt procurement training to suit the new normal

procurement training


The weaknesses in critical functions, including procurement and supply chain operations, have come into much sharper focus in recent years. Here is why adequate purchasing training, adapted to suit the predicted challenges ahead, may be the solution to tackling these obstacles. 

Reframing the approach to procurement: Procurement has, in recent years, turned into a strategic business function. A shift that has coincided with new concerns, including the lack of skilled workers as a result of—what has been dubbed—The Great Resignation; a rising focus on CSR initiatives and sustainability goals; resource shortages, and a need to drive greater innovation.

These are all goals that ultimately require a more resilient, skilled procurement team. A team you can only sustain through necessary training.  

Purchasing training in the new normal: Training must not just be implemented when the need arises, but become a regular part of operations. Procurement professionals must learn to adapt to new ways of working while upholding contemporary values such as empathetic SRM, and ensuring cybersecurity.

Companies must rise to the occasion by setting digital purchasing training platforms that offer professionals a definitive guide to meeting these standards and maintaining a competitive advantage at all times. 


In 2022, industries across Europe will form a more definitive idea of what it means to function in the widely discussed new normal. For a lot of companies—if not most companies—across Europe and around the world, this understanding is a precursor to adaptation.

The new normal may be a shifting ideal, but from a current perspective, the new normal sees industries around the world attempting to account for innovation even as they continue to prioritise survival in the midst of an evolving landscape, largely driven by pandemic-related factors. With the threat of new variants rising, the new normal is a business landscape that is braced for challenges and is working to put resilience measures and crisis-ready frameworks in place to work under this pressure—all while taking thoughtful, measured approaches to the uncertainty that governs the globe. 

What has become clear over the past two years is that many of the processes that went into critical functions were not just sorely lacking in contemporary features, but were also unsustainable in the face of crises and new technologies. 

If the pandemic had not revealed the weaknesses that lay dormant in critical functions like procurement and global supply chains, these gaps would emerge soon enough. 

Reframing the approach to procurement: why procurement training is a necessity  

The biggest change that took over procurement management processes was the shift to thinking of procurement on more strategic terms. 

While this is a shift that has been underway for some time now, the crisis served to accelerate it as organisations discovered the cost savings, optimisation, sustainability, and efficiency that procurement professionals were able to inject into the company as a result of their specialised expertise.

This comes as no surprise. The procurement function accounts for a large portion of company expenses, and is also known to be the function within which business fraud is most likely to take place. The Associate of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) deduced that fraud cost companies 5% of their annual revenue, amounting to a global value of nearly $3.7 trillion, much of which was a product of procurement fraud

Conducting procurement operations with transparency then needed to become a prerequisite in order for the function to take on more strategic responsibilities and play a more vital role in the future of companies.

Another emerging side effect of the new normal, however, has complicated the new value being placed on procurement professionals and their skills. The Great Resignation has led to many skilled workers across business functions leaving their current positions in search of greater opportunities in the midst of the global crisis. In 2022, attracting skilled workers will be a challenge and retention will be a challenge unto itself.

This once again intertwines with a number of issues facing procurement success across industries. Issues like CSR and sustainability goals, resource shortages, the need to shift from survival goals to driving innovation, and ensuring that companies are making the best use of the technologies and data available for improvement. Hitting these goals requires a procurement team that is skilled and prepared to take on these expectations despite the upheaval in working conditions and enforcement of remote working. 

Procurement training is the only way for companies to address these challenges in a sustainable and value-added way that will only enhance ROI in the long term.  

Procurement training in the new normal

In the current economic climate, training for vital functions will be a necessity for business survival. 

Even as companies ensure remote working opportunities and alter strategies to meet new demands, if the workforce cannot follow suit then these efforts will not lead to the benefits they promise in theory. 

This means that procurement training must not just be rolled out when the need arises, it must become a recurring part of your company operations. This is especially critical at the juncture at which companies find themselves.

Remote operations require more than just stable internet connections, and many companies are finding this out the hard way. The pandemic and the future it is shaping has changed the way the entire world operates, and your business and industry are microcosms within this environment. 

Procurement professionals are not just learning new priorities, but must also learn to fulfil these priorities within emerging frameworks; all while sustaining the strategic value that has been uncovered in the procurement function. 

The best way for a company to adapt is by implementing digital procurement training platforms that cover all contemporary procurement priorities, from how to ensure smooth communication in a remote work environment, maintaining supplier relationships and communicating with empathy to suppliers, negotiation tactics, and cybersecurity best practices.

Providing procurement teams with a guide to best practices is the most sustainable way to insulate your critical purchasing function from crises, and ensure that the strategic insights your procurement professionals can introduce to your overall business strategies are helping your organisation hone its competitive edge. 

A more future-ready procurement function

It may be impossible to predict every eventuality your business will be faced with in the coming years, but taking strategically sustainable and long-term steps to optimise your operations can make all the difference. 

Purchasing training is one such step that can prepare your procurement services to rise to the circumstances of the new normal with more ease, regardless of what that future may look like.   

Julie Brand

A part of Kronos Group’s team since 2018, Julie is a leader who has honed her specialisation in business transformation and utilised her expansive financial expertise to power business strategy and add value to what we do. She has amassed experience (Pfizer, Sony, AXA, SMEC, Tradelink) all over the world in strategy, project management, analysis, and supply chain.