Pogo Procurement: We Have Met The Enemy, and It Is Us!

Just 4% of supply chains are ‘future-ready.’”

For those who are fans of the old Pogo cartoon, you will recognize the phrase, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

The fact is that the greatest threat to not just procurement but businesses, in general, is a lack of agility, as exemplified by our profession’s state of “future readiness.” Of course, some may argue what that state of readiness means or where it is applicable.

From our standpoint, said readiness is reflected in our willingness and ability to excel with an expanded portfolio that includes cybersecurity and data modernization, to name two areas right off the top.

Why do we place so much emphasis on agility? A few years ago, a study reported that nearly 90% of the companies that were on the Fortune 500 list in 1955 are no longer on said list. While there are undoubtedly many reasons for their decline, their greatest undoing was an unwillingness to adapt. In other words, they were not agile in their response to changing market conditions.

With only 4% of supply chains being “future-ready,” it seems to indicate that procurement and supply chains are heading down a similar path.

Securing the Future

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we have often talked about procurement and cybersecurity and how more than 50 percent of all enterprise breaches occur through third-party vendors or partners.

As you ponder that reality, let’s add a little weight on your responsible shoulders by way of telling you that dwell time is almost six months. If you do not know what dwell time is, hang your head in shame. From the moment a third-party breach occurs, it takes organizations up to 6-months to detect that their data has been compromised. That period is what we call dwell time.

Adding further insult to injury is the additional 90-days it takes a company to address and correct the issue. 

One final note, according to the Bomgar survey, 74% of procurement professionals believe that third-party vendor selection overlooks potential vital risks, with 64% saying that their organization focuses more on cost than security.

Once again and in tandem with data modernization—a topic of recent interest in previous articles—we, being procurement, appear to be our own worst enemy. Is it any wonder that 96% of all supply chains are listing in a world of willing ignorance and avoidance?

The Time is Now

Regarding our ill-prepared supply chains, it appears that we are in a perpetual state of reactive versus proactive readiness. 

Why is that the case?

Why do we wait for the wheels to fall off—or almost fall off—before we take remedial action. Would it not make more sense to scrutinize our weaknesses and strengths seriously rather than simply waiting around until the proverbial shoe drops? After all, this isn’t rocket science but good business sense.

What are your thoughts regarding the assertion that only 4% of supply chains are future-ready? Now is the time to throw your hat of opinion (with factual support) into the ring of discussion and let us know how to improve our readiness state.