Every business, whether big or small, has procurement professionals who suffer the brunt end of unsteady costs, tough clients, and access to quality resources.
Procurement professionals must thus, keep up with the changing technology trends to be ahead is ahead .
As per the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC), only 80 percent of companies have adopted electronic purchasing processes.
Detlef Schultz, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Vodafone Procurement Company, rightly predicted that, “traditional procurement, in most cases, will not survive and category managers need to embrace artificial intelligence (AI).”
That said, what does the future of procurement operations hold?
Here are a few key factors, which are expected to cause a major shift in procurement operations in the near future.
Future of Procurement Operations
Technology is changing the stance for companies that operate through silo modules.
Procurement-as-a-Platform (PaaS) is a platform for the entire procurement process, which provides every user equal access to all its features and processes.
Thus, the need to manage multiple silo modules will soon be passé. Moreover, a company will benefit from combined efforts and inclusion.
Platform-based operating models cannot exist without data, as it fuels their recommendation engines and helps tailoring experiences to the specific needs of each user.
PaaS in turn, is expected to support the digital transformation of the whole company.
For instance, TAP—a procurement platform—allows small to medium-size businesses to create automated workflows for managing and ordering inventory sales, inventory items, and supplies.
Forms and workflows can be easily designed using drag-and-drop UI of the platform. Furthermore, it sends automated notifications to alert users to re-order items, either through APIs or calendar. Its unified dashboard provides oversight of all workflows.
2. Native Mobility
Believe it or not, the entire procurement platform will be conceived, designed, and operated as a mobile.
This platform will be backward compatible with the web and not the other way round.
Depending on your role in the procurement process, native mobility will allow you to create purchase orders (POs) or purchase requisitions (PRs) from your office or anywhere else.
You can also incorporate GPS, photo capability, and barcode scanning features into your workflow for a simpler process.
This in turn, is expected to condense manual data entry to a bare minimum.
Procurement mobile apps such as Coupa and Oracle are used by several companies for on-the-go management and approvals of purchases, invoices, and expenses.
3. Built-in Social Collaboration
Companies are increasingly focusing on engagement. They are encouraging social collaboration between coworkers, teams, and departments.
That’s not all, they are also providing tools for collaboration.
This collaboration specifically benefits procurement teams, as it provides them an open opportunity to reach out to and sign contracts with new suppliers.
Platforms such as Procurious and SpendLead are private Facebook/LinkedIn-type models, specially designed for procurement practitioners to network and share ideas, practices, and other collaborative information.
Increasing number of companies are expected to adopt such modes of collaboration that provide a supplier-centric intelligence feed, including buyer reviews, crowd sourced content about vendors, and external market intelligence.
Thus, the future of procurement technology will be inclusive of social intelligence, which in turn will build the bridge between suppliers and buyers, making interactions more transparent.
4. Creative Features
Delloit predicted that, “Specifically, by 2020, procurement will not be just the group that focuses on sourcing raw materials, goods and services, but rather one that sources ideas. Creativity will involve engaging stakeholders in new, and innovative ways.”
We are witnesses of that prediction coming to pass.
The procurement platform of tomorrow will be incorporated with creative features such as sourcing workbench, supplier-enabled innovation, knowledge management, and market intelligence to name a few.
Innovation and creativity as part of procurement will also drastically cause a shift in who does the procurement for companies.
5. Intuitive Intelligence
You probably already know about big data, now you should know that this and other data analytic methods are the future of technology procurement.
Complex data will be simplified and analyzed to become intuitive alert-and-report mechanisms. This actionable information will be used by professionals to make informed decisions.
Gerard Chick, chief knowledge officer at Optimum Procurement, said “Procurement professionals should be able to use analytics to predict periods of peak and low demand to help with buying decisions.”
Thus, professionals working in the procurement department will either need to upgrade their skills or quit.
The future will demand of them to be analysts and problem solvers. They’ll need to have a keen eye for the happenings in and around their places of work, as well as have a discerning eye for issues, while working around them at the same time.
Furthermore, the future will not need buyers, but people who can understand markets and can be the ones the rest of the business relies on.
Looking For the Best Technology Procurement Services?
Technology is as an innovative method of procurement that can help companies gain a competitive advantage.
Thus, if your company doesn’t already have professionals who are ready to take on the future of procurement, we can help.
Xperteks is your go-to managed service for technology procurement in NYC. To know more, contact us at 212.206.6262!