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Year-End Planning Strategies for Electronics Buyers

Nov. 27, 2023
The last few years have been chaotic, but 2024 may bring a more “normalized” environment for buyers. Here are some year-end planning tips to put into action now.

With 2024 coming into view, it’s time for procurement teams to start thinking about the year ahead, their near-term goals and what new plans they’ll put in place for achieving those goals. This is also a good time to review this past year’s goals, evaluate performance over the last 12 months and identify the “wins” and the areas where improvement is needed.

 

Through good planning, procurement teams can further solidify their strategies and roles within their organizations. This is especially vital because chief procurement officers (CPOs) who have successfully navigated uncertainty in recent years have become indispensable partners to the executive suite, according to McKinsey & Co.

 

“Never before has procurement been core to so many executive-committee-level priorities. We now have a real seat at the top table. And this is not a temporary situation—this is how we will operate going forward,” one manufacturing CPO told the research firm. The CEO of a chemicals company echoed this sentiment: “These days, to perform well, companies need a different end-to-end view on the business. Procurement is absolutely critical.”

 

McKinsey says the new economic era represents a “unique opportunity for procurement to step up and redefine its scope, mandate, and playbook, providing a competitive edge to organizations that do so well.” By setting goals and objectives now for the upcoming year, procurement teams can effectively focus on what’s most important and ensure that they’re always working towards their stated goals (i.e., sticking to budgets, mitigating risks, saving money, improving efficiency, etc.).

 

“It's a good time for companies to think ahead and plan for the future,” says Mike Slater, VP of global business development at DigiKey. “While most electronic components and automation products are plentiful, it’s a good time to identify alternative parts.” For example, buyers can use their suppliers’ list management and parts solutions (like DigiKey’s myLists), versus waiting until it’s crunch time—or, for another supply chain issue to emerge.  

 

Planning for the Future

Slater says the company has also been talking to its own suppliers about their plans for the future, including planned product changes and new product introductions. “The last thing an engineer wants to do is design in a part that will soon be obsolete,” he says. “We’re happy to be able to pass these insights along to customers and help them plan ahead.” 

On a positive note, Slater says that many supply chain-related changes and challenges improved in 2023 after several years of chaos. “Many business decisions were made reactively rather than strategically as the world navigated unprecedented times,” he points out. “As we move onto what’s next and can begin to step back and assess the past few years, as well as look forward, what’s clear is that we’re at a point of transition.” 

5 Planning Tips for the New Year

eProcurement and supplier relationship management platform DemandStar offers these five tips to buyers looking to put some solid plans in place for the upcoming year:

  1. Review all vendor/supplier relationships: Make sure your vendors and suppliers are top-notch and working well for you. Plan now for those RFPs so that you aren’t surprised when it’s time to renew the contract and then have to make a “rushed” decision.
  2. Determine training needs: Does your department need any additional training? Review training needs and options so that requests can be submitted for next year’s budget.
  3. Submit RFPs early: Review next year’s calendar and see if there are any upcoming projects at the beginning of the year.  
  4. Assess key performance indicators (KPIs): Did you reach your budget goals? Were projects completed on time?  
  5. Set goals and plan for next year: Be sure to include specific data points where appropriate, as opposed to setting broad goal statements.

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