Modern technologies are poised to upend the Procurement Function as we know it. All aspects of procurement’s three domains, managing spend, protecting organizations from risk, and supporting operations will see significant breakthroughs in the years to come.
In 2019 we will notice the following Technology Breakthroughs in Procurement:
- Unprecedented focus on Advanced Risk Management Capability: Risk Management is a critical component of the Procurement Function Mandate. Trade Wars, Tariffs, Piracy, Territorial Conflicts, continue to reap havoc on supply chains. This high degree of uncertainty and disruption has reached critical mass and requires robust risk management methodologies to reduce the staggering potential of cost impacts and fiscal ruin. This will continue to be a key focal point of technological development for this year and years to come.
- Automation: The Procurement Function has been traditionally a tedious, fragmented, cumbersome, error prone, time consuming, manual process. We are at the jump off point of a massive automation of the Procurement Function, which will free up time, resources, processing cost, and the Total Cost of Ownership of business entities.
- Transactional Visibility: Technologies such as Blockchain are also at the point of critical mass as the dire need for transactional visibility, fiscal tracking, data on ecological impact, materials traceability, and fraud reduction. The modern customer requires a high degree accountability from suppliers from diversity to ecological matters. We will see an insatiable desire to fill this massive need.
- Hyper Collaboration: Collaboration is the key underpinning of effective and efficient supply chains. The modern procurement mindset is one of co-operation upstream and downstream to identify opportunities and leverage strategic alliances and core competencies of supplier, and customers. They key is to collaborate and align these competencies in one platform. Technologies that enhance supply chain collaboration are being developed at a rapid rate.
- Focus on Efficiency over Price: Gone are the days that procurement professionals focus on price and treat their suppliers as the folks at the other side of the table or as rivals. The modern supply chain is full of inefficient, process wastes, and non-value-added activities. Approximately 90% of activities in a supply chain are non-value-added activities. Technologies that reduce the impact of these opportunities are being developed at an unprecedented rate.
- Analytics: Robust analytics is the underpinning of a Supply Chain and Procurement Function. AI and Machine Learning. Analytics today has moved beyond descriptive to autonomous models where machines are learning from data patterns on how to make decisions without human intervention. Many low value and high value task can be executed by these mechanisms, freeing up procurement professional to focus on mission critical strategic tasks.
- Cyber Security: Cyber attack and cyber terrorism are a tragic reality today, and is a key focal point of technology R&D. This is a top priority of today’s procurement executives, as the awareness of the potential of massive supply chain disruption has heightened.
- Mobility:As the demand for procurement professionals to travel has increased dramatically, the demand for simply but robust mobile procurement technology is unprecedented. The ability to conduct all procurement tasks in a mobile setting is critical.
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