3 min read

Procurement and Supply Chain Return to Work 2022  

We’ve been covering how procurement and supply chain return to work in 2022—and all the ups and downs that go with it. As COVID continues to be a problem, we take a deeper dive into the return to work.  

Just as many of us were starting to believe that the worst of the pandemic was behind us, some new players arrived on the scene. A new variant called Omicron has caused cases to spread, adding yet another layer of uncertainty to an already shaky attempt of a return to normalcy. 

As the Omicron is still relatively new on the scene, its danger remains largely unknown, causing the majority of both employers and employees to avoid taking any chances. At the time of writing, in London, Brits have been advised to once again work from home. And in San Francisco, the tech firms are firmly refusing a return to office.  

Even across Asia and China, the return to work is rife with doubt and trepidation. A recent Bloomberg report showed the hesitance of return to work in 2022, with percentages of workplace activity across the major cities around the globe remaining far below pre-pandemic levels.  

Amid the swirl of uncertainty, procurement is being called on to help HR departments produce safe work plans for employees. No matter what side of the vaccination saga you stand on, everyone seems to agree that environments need to be safe for workers. So, what are we doing to achieve this?  

 

Procurement and Return to Work Compliance  

Some recent rules, policies, and guidelines that have been put in place by the U.S. government include the Biden Administration announcing the details of two policies created to fight COVID-19. The policies are specifically aimed at getting more Americans vaccinated, protecting workers, preventing hospitalizations, saving lives, and strengthening the economy.  

The first policy is in connection with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which announced its requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to be responsible for the full vaccination OR (at least) weekly COVID-19 testing of every single worker. An added requirement states that these same employers must provide employees paid time while going to get vaccinated and ensure all unvaccinated workers are wearing face masks while physically in the workplace.  
 
As for the second policy, it deals with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services. It now requires all health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated (a rule that is far-reaching, as it will now apply to over 17 million workers of nearly 76,000 health care facilities across the nation). 
 
As procurement is typically tasked with compliance-related tasks finding ways to aid our organizations in complying with Biden’s newly introduced orders is no different.  

 

Procurement Overseeing Return to Work Solutions  

Procurement is stepping in to help oversee a return to work in 2022 in many ways. For instance, many companies have now turned to rapid testing programs for ease and efficiency. 

Overseas, where there has been access to at-home rapid test kits, it’s common to have everyone in the office take a test multiple times a week. This has been a proven method to stop outbreaks. An example of how nations abroad are using this technology to help keep them safe can be found here

 

USA Rapid Test Partners  

As for in the U.S., taking a cue from Britain—and in response to the recent surge of Omicron cases—the Biden administration announced its plan to ship as many as 500 million at-home test kits to American residents to increase ease and encourage more testing more often. With these rapid antigen kits, testers can complete the easy process from the convenience of their own home and receive results in as little as 15 minutes. 

The good news for the employers who are being directly affected by the new regulations and policies from the Biden Administration is that there are now many companies (rapid test partners) manufacturing test kits that will allow for self-administered testing. These test kits can be ordered in bulk to employer sites or even straight to individual employees’ homes. Once the employees have their kits, they can register and self-test in just minutes, with the employer admins being sent every result in a seamless share of results online via a dashboard or other mode of media. And the best part? In most cases, no staffing is even required. 

Procurement Foundry has partnered with Proven Passthe industry leader in COVID-19 Health Compliance & Testing firms. They offer full-service COVID testing, employee test fulfillment and logistics, lab partnerships, and a result tracking and reporting system to provide discounts to Foundry members tasked with overseeing rapid testing programs.  

Although we don’t know what the future holds, it is procurement’s job to try to stay ahead of whatever may come. The good news is that the Procurement Foundry team is here for you, offering help and support as you navigate 2022 and beyond.

By Michael Cadieux

 

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