Manufacturers Have Embraced Digital Procurement During The Pandemic – Find Out Why

Young female foreman and her manual worker working on paperwork and steel in aluminum mill.

One of the key learnings from the pandemic has been the significant impact that digital tools have had on manufacturing and supply chain operations during the crisis.

In an environment of remote team working, digital platforms have kept workforces connected and productive. From online communication tools like Zoom and Slack to quoting platforms like SteelScout, digital platforms have enabled teams to stay in touch and run efficiently with little downtime.

To emphasis the point, McKinsey recently stated that “we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks”¹ and a recent survey showed that B2B digital procurement had soared from 29% to 37% during the pandemic and was expected to grow to 40% in the near future².

Technician using laptop while working in a factory

Digitally Safeguard Your Material Supplies

For businesses that insource materials for their operations, ensuring continuity of supply is vital, especially in times of market uncertainty. In our recent survey of over 100 manufacturers, 66% reported that it had been harder to get hold of the materials they needed due to COVID related supplier closures or capacity issues.

Now as manufacturers try to balance growth and a potential second lockdown, many are faced with ongoing supply challenges including a lack of supply chain visibility, limited supply options and the need to cut their operating expenses in order to remain competitive.

But solutions are available. Digital services exist that can give manufacturers greater supply chain transparency, instantly broaden their supply base and reduce procurement admin. These range from online webshops to recommendation sites and quoting platforms, all of which use technology to make sourcing and ordering simpler and quicker.

However, to get a true overview of the market, buyers should seek out services that work with multiple suppliers and have the capabilities to connect individual buyer requirements with the right suppliers in real-time.  In the same way that consumers use services like travel, insurance and shopping comparison sites to get the best deal, manufacturers can do the same for their materials.

If you use metal in your production process, SteelScout is one supplier that can broaden your visibility of the market, instantly expand your supply options and make your procurement more efficient.

SteelScout works with the UK’s largest metal supplier network to get the best deal for a manufacturer’s individual requirement, giving them more visibility, choice and value. Both services are free to use for buyers and by working with one metal supplier, manufacturers can save their procurement teams the hassle of setting up multiple accounts and benefit from one credit account with access to over 100 suppliers across the UK.

And while the service is powered by technology, each customer is supported by a personal account manager to oversee their entire job, so they don’t lose the personal touch.


Stay connected, productive and improve your bottom line

Digital services have already kept businesses open and productive through the pandemic.  As we navigate this next period of uncertainty, they can continue to make manufacturers operations more efficient.  If you use metal in your operations, SteelScout is one digital platform that can broaden your visibility of the market, instantly expand your supply options and make your procurement more efficient. All of which effect your bottom line.


You can download a copy of SteelScout’s new report on how to adopt digital procurement here


Or visit for more information about their services.



  1. McKinsey – the recovery will be digital, 2020
  2. PROS, Covid-19 B2B buying Trends Report

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