Predictions for 2018: Blockchain and AI to shake up procurement

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Artificial intelligence and procurement

Darren Lynch, vice president, consulting, and thought leadership council chair at GEP says that while procurement will embrace new technologies such as AI in 2018, many still don’t grasp the potential they offer.


This article originally appeared in the 2018 Trends Report.


Many procurement teams are embracing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Perhaps more significantly, functions are looking at the world through a digital lens. However, many struggle to understand the potential role and impact of these emerging technologies.


Artificial intelligence and machine learning
AI will continue to make a number of procurement processes more efficient in 2018:


Portal and helpdesk support: Robotic voice interaction integrates category cards, portal content, preferred suppliers and price data.


Workflow efficiencies: Machine learning-based approvals help to monitor and expedite approvals.


Master data management: The automated updating of product, material, supplier, catalogue and contract data is improving interactions with suppliers


Order management: The ability to automatically confirm orders, delivery dates and goods receipts speeds up the flow of goods.


Contract management: Renewals and performance calculations are available on dashboards.


Applying blockchain technology to procurement
Integrating this emerging technology into e-procurement systems could provide greater security, trust and transparency, including:


Portal and content management: Supplier’s prices, specifications and lead times updated in catalogue systems in real time.


Enhanced contract management: Opening up remote supplier deliveries for goods and service confirmations are integrated into contract performance and key performance indicators.


E-sourcing and e-auctions: Enabling the adoption of mobile e-auction apps through public and private keys.


Goods receipt and confirmation: Evolving three-way matching into a combined contract, price, delivery and receipt system that enables supplier-triggered payment.


Payment processing: Secure access for suppliers to register and update banking information for accounts payable, and to integrate goods receipt with dynamic discounting and supplier-triggered payments. It also provides the ability to integrate treasury with banking to make electronic payments.


To read more predictions for what 2018 has in store, Procurement Leaders members can read the 2018 Trends report.


This contributed article has been written by a guest writer at the invitation of Procurement Leaders. Procurement Leaders received no payment directly connected with the publishing of this content.

Darren Lynch
Posted by Darren Lynch

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