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Ebc 2021 Supply Chain & Procurement 500x500

2021 Supply Chain & Procurement report:

Covid-19’s impact and Recruitment outlook in Singapore & Southeast Asia.

Insights from Ethos BeathChapman’s regional survey of over 200 Supply Chain & Procurement professionals from Singapore and Southeast Asia.


Foreword by Rob Wisdom, Practice Lead, Asia

2020 was a year of complexities for supply chain and procurement professionals, who have had to deal with borders closing, disruptions in supply, new engagement approaches with new and existing suppliers as well as restrictions and/or the temporary closing of operations.

We were reminded of just how crucial the function is, as the world witnessed the extent of organisations’ reliance in their supply chain and procurement teams.

In response to Covid-19, supply chain and procurement leaders have focused on operations and key deliverables, shelving other priorities of upskilling, innovation and operational excellence to ensure that essential supplies, services and equipment were available to customers who needed them the most. 

Adding to the tremendous pressure on the function, supply chain and procurement teams delivered on these increased expectations on existing headcount, accomplishing much more with far less. The 2020 supply chain and procurement recruitment market slowed down with retail, aviation, hospitality and food and beverage industries bearing the brunt of cost-cutting measures resulting from the pandemic.  

However, hiring momentum took a positive turn at the end of 2020, a delightful anomaly in view of November and December being typically quieter months in supply chain and procurement recruitment. The market saw demand from companies seeking to acquire mid to senior level managers beyond their industries to introduce new expertise and best practices into their supply chain and procurement teams.  

In the last quarter of 2020, Ethos BeathChapman surveyed over 200 mid to senior level supply chain and procurement professionals across Singapore and Southeast Asia to identify the immediate needs of regional supply chain and procurement teams and provide actionable insights for their strategies in 2021.  

In addition to identifying in-demand supply chain and procurement jobs and opportunities in 2021, the survey also uncovered key trends, including:

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2021 signals not a new beginning but a turning point for supply chain and procurement to establish a momentum of continuous improvement in terms of supply chain management, existing and new supplier network mapping, data analytics and procurement transformation.  

Survey insights point to gradual progress in 2021’s supply chain and procurement recruitment market, as well as optimistic opportunities for supply chain and procurement professionals to upskill and embrace new responsibilities in 2021.  

While the market will not expect an abundance of newly created jobs in 2021, there will be a renewed focus on continuous improvement, digital transformation, data analytics and automation. Organisations will continue to expect agile supply chain and procurement teams which will accomplish more as they evolve, adapt, seek new efficiencies and future-proof. 

If you seek specialised expertise to recruit a capable team of supply chain and procurement professionals, reach out to us today. To discuss your career within Asia’s supply chain and procurement industry, we welcome your connection. 


Rob leads Ethos BeathChapman's Supply Chain & Procurement and Accounting & HR practices in Asia. As a recruiter, Rob specialises in appointing supply chain and procurement leaders into companies across Asia. Connect with Rob.