Procurement Predictions for 2022 – How are they playing out?

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Latest News, Procurement and Contracting

Procurement predictions for 2022 - someone looking through binoculars

Is there anything industry experts love more than an annual exercise in soothsaying? What are their procurement predictions? 

At the start of the year, the CIPS, McKinsey, Procurement & Supply, and others predicted a range of trends that would define procurement in 2022, from a war on talent to supplier experience management and flexible working. 

So what has 2022 brought so far? How are the predictions playing out?

Let’s take a look:

Prediction: Supply chains will remain out of sync

Let’s face it, Covid-19 completely disrupted supply chains globally. For two years, our world has been reliant on lean, just-in-time supply chains. The problem is, this means businesses haven’t had the opportunity to build the inventory buffers required to withstand the disruption in supply. Experts didn’t expect this to settle down in 2022, with the situation predicted to get worse before it gets better. 


As predicted, it’s proven difficult to easily adapt to the disruptions in the supply chain: 84% of CFOs see supply chain disruptions as either a moderate or severe risk.

However, organisations are innovating and looking for ways to improve resilience. For example, some are diversifying the pool of available suppliers across various regions. After all, if Covid has taught us anything, it’s how to be resilient and flexible. 

Prediction: The war on talent will step up

The post-covid labour shortage was already hitting the headlines in January. As the CIPS predicted in January, ”The demand on the workforce and the thirst for talent is going to be extraordinary”. But not only was it expected to be difficult to attract talent – companies were warned they would struggle to retain staff too. 

Experts predicted that employers would have to work extra hard and invest in the workforce by offering better training and benefits to keep talented employees close. 

As an alternative solution, around 70% of executives anticipated they will hire more temporary workers and freelancers over the next two years for increased access to quality talent and flexibility, as well as improved productivity, agility and resilience, and reduced costs.


In June unemployment tumbled to 3.5% meaning Australia is approaching “full employment”. In other words, almost everyone willing and able to work is in a job. 

You only need to look at the job sites to see that there’s a huge demand for skilled professionals in procurement. A search in June 2022 returned more than 120 jobs in “Procurement: and more than 100 in “Contract management”. 

This means now is the perfect time for anyone looking to move into procurement. Check out our tips on how to find a procurement and contracting job

Prediction: Supplier partnerships will make or break your business in 2022

Since the onset of the pandemic, supplier relationships have been put to the test every day, leading experts to advise that organisations should know their suppliers inside and out in 2022 if they want to minimise disruption, accelerate savings, and deliver innovation faster. 

How do you build strong supplier relationships? By proactively collaborating with, listening to, and understanding suppliers, as well as improving visibility and using data and analytics. At the start of 2022, more than 66% of CPOs were prioritising supplier collaboration and other broader value-generating activities. 


The focus on supplier partnerships has become part of a wider movement to reduce friction for suppliers and improve their experience. Just as we talk about customer, employee, and brand experience management, we’re now seeing supplier experience management (SXM). 

This means we’re starting to see a shift away from companies simply supporting their internal stakeholders and procurement team, and towards focusing on reducing their suppliers’ challenges and frustrations, to ultimately improve their experiences. 

The goal? To become the “customer of choice.” 

Prediction: Digitisation will be key to success

CPOs were expected to intensify investments in digitalisation in 2022, with as many as 90% of CPOs considering digitalisation critical to success. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, the top digital investment areas for procurement are analytics, automation, and improvements in procure-to-pay processes. Advanced analytics was already delivering valuable insights into spending and supplier relationships, with machine learning helping to automate mundane tasks such as purchase-approval workflows and delivery scheduling. 

Self-service procurement was also predicted to gain traction, improving the experience of stakeholders within the business and reducing the need to recruit more employees. 


According to a report released in July 2022, 90% of global procurement professionals are still urgently looking for ways to transform their operating models and processes to meet the volatile and uncertain business world. 

But change doesn’t happen overnight – the survey revealed that digital transformation would be a top priority for the next three years. In another survey, many respondents admitted it is difficult to know which technologies to implement. 

Prediction: Flexible working is here to stay

Hybrid work environments were predicted to become the norm in 2022. A global survey by PWC found that only 10% of respondents sought to return to a traditional work environment, and a staggering 74% of Australian respondents reported that they wanted a mix of face-to-face and remote working. 

It’s not just the private sector either – the Victorian Government adopted a new flexible working policy allowing workers to work from home for three days as a rule. Victorian government employees can determine where they will work, whether at a collab hub, office or home. 

Many experts agreed that offering flexible working arrangements would be the main draw to land highly-skilled workers. Job ads offering permanent work from home arrangements increased by 95% in 2021, according to the Business Insider


Hybrid working is now the norm for many people – not least because the risks of the pandemic haven’t gone away. In July 2022, Telstra and Westpac advised staff to work from home if they could, after national health advice recommended that employers make changes to limit the spread of Covid during the winter wave of infections.

Westpac updated its employee guidelines to allow employees to work from home if they wished, “with no requirement to be in the office,” under its hybrid workplace model that had been introduced in the last year.

Prediction: Procurement will go green-er

The nature of the coronavirus pandemic propelled the need for sustainable procurement. Organisations were told they could no longer only pay lip service to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters in 2022, as stakeholders were increasingly demanding more action. Supply chain contracts were recognised as a key opportunity for businesses to realise their ESG goals.

Government was already moving in the right direction, with the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Investment Guidelines (SIG), which impact how future tenders are evaluated and infrastructure projects are delivered, and the WA Government’s Social Procurement Framework amongst others. 


No doubt about it, sustainability is still high on the agenda in 2022. Meeting environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) compliance objectives remains a critical element of procurement’s value proposition. In fact, one in three chief procurement officers consider ESG within their top three priorities for organisational risk. Achieving a more sustainable supply chain ranks as the fourth largest factor driving the growing pace of digital transformation within companies’ procurement function. 


The last two years have taught us that you should never rely on predictions. Even the best experts failed to anticipate some of the challenges the world has seen. However, the lessons we’ve learned from 2021 mean procurement professionals have never been better placed to deal with change and disruption to solve business problems. 

How is 2022 playing out for your procurement function? Let us know in the comments below. 

Recent Blog Posts Testimonials

“All round I’ve been really impressed with how professional everyone at Transformed has been”

Diploma of PM

“Learning – I have now fine-tuned my existing skills”

Brian Peterson
Moreton Bay Regional Council

“Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me and getting me over the line!! Which I know was a bit difficult with no background in the industry!! Thanks very much and I look forward to starting my business and conquering the world as an Energy Rater!”

Laura Lace

“Working at my own pace online and the response time to emails and responses were always great”

Ekaterina Sidorova
Lend Lease

“Don has been a terrific teacher and very prompt with feedback throughout the whole diploma, which has been great!”

Diploma of PM

“I found the course easy to follow and navigate through. I would recommend this course to others”

August 2018

“My assessor was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved this without her encouragement and guidance’.

Cert IV in Procurement & Contracting - March 2022

“I’m extremely impressed by The Cert IV in HEES delivered by Transformed. It is a fantastic, relevant, and interesting course with great content. The study materials and assistance have been exceptional. Thanks again to Transformed for their support”.

Matt Wade
Cert IV in HEES Student – April 2022.

“Ease of delivery, completing from work”

Qld Health

“I am so appreciative of you and Transformed for your flexibility and support- THANK YOU”

Louise Anderson
Cert IV in P & C student - May 2020

“Thanks for your support over the years and I look forward to doing more courses at Transformed in the future”.

Cert IV in HEES - March 2022

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank you for all your help during my studies. I think your training company is very professional and I would endorse you and Transformed to anyone looking to study distance learning”

Doug Madarovski

“The most practical and well organised course I’ve been involved with, perfect for anyone with a demanding full time career and family commitments. My facilitator was extremely helpful and being part of the construction industry applied a very focused approach to the course content which assisted me in completing my studies, Would strongly and have already recommended Transformed to those looking to complete their Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction. Thanks for all your efforts and support.”

Aleks Petrovic
Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction Student

“I engaged Michael Young from Transformed to assess me for the Australian Institute of Project Management Certified Practicing Project Manager. I wanted to be certified as I wanted to verify that the skills and knowledge was in line with industry best-practice. At first it seemed a bit daunting, however, Michael made the process very easy, providing templates for references and self-assessment as well as providing a list of the project management documents I would need to provide as evidence. The assessment interview was very relaxed and more like a conversation than an assessment, which brought out the best experiences to evidence my capabilities. Because of Michael’s current government security clearance, we were able to look at specific of particular projects, rather me than having to spend a heap of time sanitising documents. Since the assessment, I have been successful in gaining a promotion..”

Mike McCarthy

“The self-paced learning it allowed me to work whilst studying”

Haylea Edwards
Efficient Living

“…I originally enrolled in Transformed’s Diploma of Project Management on the basis of their flexibility. ..As I subsequently discovered, Transformed’s approach extends even further to include ‘one on one’ coaching sessions… and adjusting the training to fit in with the client..”

Michael Irwin

“I am very satisfy with the study”

Eric Lam

“I think everything worked very smoothly”

Susan Mariott
Quality Home Design and Drafting Service

“The excellent and prompt communication from my assessor”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for offering such a great course, I have really enjoyed studying my Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Transformed”.

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021

“I want to thank you for providing that encouragement and feed back at appropriate times. You make me and I’m sure all students, feel special and like we are getting personal assistance, which I have received. I don’t know how you manage all that you do but you do it well. Thank you”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Easy to deal with”

Laura Lace

“Phenomenal course to understand contract management in the best way possible. I am working as a Procurement Manager and never understood contract part completely but this course helped me to understand key points of contract management. Thanks to author for creating this wonderful course. ”

Student - Introduction to Contract Management - August 2021

“The course is really well organised, your videos and zoom meetings were extremely helpful, the platform functions perfectly, your response time to queries and questions is always prompt and overall it is just been a wonderful experience”

Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021.

“Always good and prompt feedback from Michael”

John Logan
Draft Comps Services