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Embracing technological disruption in procurement

Digital disruption: Automating the procurement function

A day doesn’t seem to go by without news about disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and the potential they have to fundamentally change the way procurement works.

 

We are living in a data-driven world and, while B2B companies have been much slower than those in the B2C space in adapting to the opportunities this brings, these changes are coming for B2B firms.

 

At ConnXus we’re familiar with the concept of ’working in’ versus ’working on’ a business. We have to support and maintain fully-fledged solutions for our clients; ’working in’ our wheelhouse, so to speak. But, we also need to think ahead to stay relevant in the industry; ’working on’ our evolving business model and product development.

 

This analogy is similar to the way new technologies can be used by procurement professionals. They have the potential to free up money, time, and expertise so that teams can concentrate on tasks such as supplier development and sustainable sourcing. By focusing on these tasks, the function can increase its competitive advantage with the organisation’s supply chain and key stakeholders.

 

How then can you optimise technology to ’work in’ your business while you ’work on’ your supply chain?

 

The first step is to establish a baseline of where you are now before you then map out where you want to go next. The key here is to assess the market and analyse your spend data. It is likely you’ll find information scattered across various departments and different systems simply because they weren’t designed to deal with such a broad spectrum of data sources.

 

Meanwhile, when it comes to automation, the best place to start is supplier data and the reporting process. Automation can be useful here because it can fill the need for multi-tier spend tracking, which is a growing concern for many corporate buyers. Multi-tier reporting can also fulfil government regulations, audits, and corporate responsibility as measured by the social and economic impact of spend.

 

The key to being nimble and mighty for any procurement function is to embrace this technology with a keen eye on how it can impact performance. If digital solutions are applied strategically, the function will start seeing improvements in return on investment and in the firm’s bottom line.

 

Daryl Hammett is the COO and co-owner of ConnXus, a SaaS-based global supplier management platform. He previously founded the Peabody Executive Coaching Group and led Luxottica’s Sears Optical North America as senior VP and general manager. To find out about ConnXus’ automated supplier diversity data enrichment and reporting solutions, click here

This contributed article has been written by a guest writer at the invitation of Procurement Leaders.

Daryl Hammett
Posted by Daryl Hammett

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