The future of procurement technology is a very interesting topic and requires great reflection by progressive minded supply chain professionals. The mechanisms of technology, networking, metrics, innovation, production, and logistics are poised for critical mass on supply chains. The interaction of these forces is lining up for a monumental shift with seismic value creation capability.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, by the year 2022, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will force the demise of 75 to 80 million jobs. But great news procurement professionals, there is an expectation that 133 million jobs will be created. The new wave of job creation will be more technology focused. The minimum requirement for upskilling the modern workforce to meet these requirements is 6 months.

The following areas will have a significant impact on the modern procurement function (Future of Procurement Technology):

1.) Data Analytics: Prepare for the demand for deeper insights with data by leveraging powerful analytics tools. While Microsoft Excel will be a dominant tool in the procurement world, procurement professionals create tremendous value-add by learning and leveraging tools such as Tableau, R and Python. These tools will enable procurement professionals to leverage greater insights from supply chain patterns. Such insights will facilitate greater decision-making capabilities.

Data is the ”New Oil”, and companies are poised to engage in a colossal clash to acquire the best data available on the market, and the talent to go with that.

2.) Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain and Digital Transformation: Yes, it is here, machines handling many critical areas of modern supply chain functions. Many of the lower level procurement functions will be handled by machines, which will free up the highly skilled practitioners to focus on strategic value creation. The blockchain is being leveraged to enhance visibility, reduce transactional risk, dashboarding and enhance collaboration. Many companies are integrating their machining learning processes across their supply chains and are reaping super synergies with their suppliers and customers.

3.) A seat at the Table of Innovation: Many will argue that major disconnects exist between the procurement and supply chain functions and product innovation processes. Evolving collaboration technologies are fostering the collapse of these disconnects. This means a demand for an earlier and deeper involvement of the future of procurement discipline in product ideation, concept testing, product development, and commercialization.

4.) The procurement of Thought Leadership: There is a greater focus on supplier capability and collaboration. The future of Procurement technology professionals are increasingly mandated to select suppliers that add greater value to their supply chains. The idea is to leverage and integrate the intellectual property of their supplier base above and beyond current arrangements. Trust, mutual envisioning, and collaboration are critical in such settings.

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David Millington

David Millington M.Sc.QSM, NPDP, CL6σBB, SPPSM, SPSM3®, CM® Director of Education (Next Level Purchasing Association) A Certified Strategic Planning Professional, David Millington brings over 15 years experience in the Strategy Execution, Product / Service Development, Organizational and Supply Chain Excellence Arenas. He is a Certified Supply Chain Professional, Certified New Product Development Professional, Certified Strategic Planning Professional, and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. David holds a master’s degree in Quality Systems Management, from The National Graduate School of Quality Management, Falmouth MA, USA. This equips him with mastery of vast bodies of knowledge and best practices. David Millington brings hands-on experience at VP, Director, and Manager Levels, guiding and facilitating the development of strategic and tactical solutions to intricate organizational, product, and service challenges.

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