RED BEAR Insights: 5 Big Takeaways from ISM World 2023

By RED BEAR May 18, 2023 | 6 min read

RED BEAR Negotiation Training was on the ground at the ISM World Annual Conference last week.

Supply chain and procurement professionals from across the world were there in-person to learn, network, and explore the trends facing the industry in 2023.

Here are our key takeaways from Grapevine, TX.

Our 5 Insights from ISM World 2023

The ISM World Annual Conference is all about providing a unique educational environment where supply chain industry professionals and thought leaders can come together and focus on the key topics that affect supply management in 2023.

From building resilient supply chains to navigating the post-COVID world, here is what procurement and supply chain professionals at ISM World 2023 had on their minds.

1. It’s All About Building Resilient Supply Chains

Whether it’s geopolitical pressures, raw material shortages, or risks from advanced cyber security threats, supply chains are in a state of flux in 2023 — and it’s a hot topic for the procurement professionals here at ISM World.

While the industry may be seeing COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, our supply chains are still seeing more complexity than ever before. Procurement professionals need to understand this new landscape and reassess their supply chains to build resilience.

Leveraging top tools like big data and AI are part of the solution, but alongside those tech tools are efforts like localization — but more on that later.

With fewer resources and tighter deadlines, it’s up to negotiators to develop strong supplier relationships and think creatively about how to approach a deal. Negotiation training is essential for organizations looking to mitigate the risks of disruptions, price fluctuations, and geopolitical pressures.


With RED BEAR Negotiation Training, we encourage both collaborative and competitive approaches, fostering a culture of open communication and joint problem-solving. 

This can lead to innovative solutions, such as improved logistics, better use of technology, stronger supplier relationships, and new product development, all of which contribute to a stronger supply chain.

2. Businesses Are Growing with Advanced Technology 

While it should come as no surprise that Big Data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology are big procurement trends at ISM World 2023, finding ways to successfully integrate this kind of tech into operations is proving the importance of human interaction.

As AI and robotics continue to change the way we do business, organizations need to understand how to integrate these new technologies effectively. 

Supply chain professionals will need to learn to leverage and embrace these advances while not relying solely on this new tech to solve all of their problems.

“Supply chain professionals will need to learn to leverage and embrace these advances while not relying solely on this new tech to solve all of their problems.”

The right procurement negotiation training can provide supply chain professionals the skills they need to secure better pricing terms for new equipment as well as cross-collaborate with suppliers and internal departments to foster open communication and streamline the overall implementation process of these new technologies.

Technology like AI is advancing rapidly, but this doesn't replace the need for effective in-person and virtual negotiation


3. Building Sustainable Supply Chains Is Top of Mind

Weaved within seminars on supply chain resilience, new tech trends, and professional development at ISM World 2023 is plenty of talk about building sustainable supply chains in the industry.

For a good reason.

Organizations looking to establish efficient approaches to compliance should understand the importance of implementing sustainable practices in their supplier negotiations.

It’s also about developing streamlined supply chains, identifying risks, and cutting costs.

From navigating local supplier relations to international agreements, being fully aware of how sustainability efforts integrate into traditional business practices is key to leveraging this newest wave of technology to manage optimized supply chain logistics.

Negotiation will play a critical role in how an organization approaches these efforts.

Whether it’s working with suppliers to reduce energy demands or navigating complex compliance environments, skilled negotiations are critical to securing favorable terms while encouraging innovation and collaboration across key stakeholders.

4. Post-COVID Challenges Are Here to Stay

COVID-19 fundamentally changed the industry, and procurement and supply chain professionals at ISM World 2023 are still understanding those challenges — not only within the context of supply chain disruption but also employee and workplace trends. 

It has also accelerated the rate of adoption of digital systems and technologies.

This has put an emphasis on the skills needed to navigate both virtual negotiation sessions and cross-cultural approaches to doing business.


All in all, we're in a new and uncertain era for the industry. 

Trends in supply chain dynamics and geopolitical changes no longer follow the cyclical business and political patterns of the past.

Organizations need to adapt to new tools and platforms as well as manage the uncertain post-COVID landscape.

They also need to stay up to date with trends in the industry, as well as overall trends in areas such as hiring.

Investing in negotiation training can reflect an organization's commitment to individual growth as well as promote satisfaction and productivity. This helps organizations combat recent trends in hiring while staying prepared for new challenges.

Lastly, organizations need to fully understand the value of strong supplier relationships.

By implementing tested negotiation practices, supply chain professionals can understand the full range of their strength of power and leverage the concessions necessary in negotiations to build collaborative strategies that bolster existing relationships and forge new ones.

5. Localization Is Here to Stay

To combat the pressures of stressed globalized supply chains, many procurement organizations shifted efforts toward building resilient local relationships with suppliers.

As the world slowly recovered from COVID-related issues, many argued businesses would retract efforts toward localization and reshoring. Unfortunately, those stressors never truly subsided, leaving supply chain professionals to rethink their strategies.

Instead of ditching localization efforts, companies are now seeing the value of developing these robust local supplier relationships.

It’s more than shoring up local supplier relationships, though; it’s also about building resilient supply chains.

Negotiation training is critical to mastering these changes.

Not only is the right negotiation training essential to building long-lasting and valuable relationships, but by working with tested principles and negotiation behaviors, supply chain professionals can navigate the tension of local supplier negotiations to build collaborative outcomes that benefit both parties.

Staying Ahead with RED BEAR

While the supply chain and procurement landscape is changing rapidly, procurement professionals at ISM World 2023 are looking at key trends in supply chain resilience, localization, and the other key factors affecting the industry.

Organizations that can embrace these trends are in an advantageous position to succeed in 2023.

At RED BEAR Negotiation Training, our goal is to transform individuals into world-class negotiators. Instead of worn-out strategies and tactics, our training leverages the principles and methods that drive successful negotiations.

We focus on providing unforgettable and tailored experiential training that your team will never forget.

To learn more about the power of RED BEAR Training, be sure to connect with our team today.


Fill out our contact form and we will be back to you in no later than one business day.



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