Predictions for 2018: Look at the bigger picture

Eye and focus

In making his predictions for how 2018 will shape procurement, Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng says that the function needs to start thinking differently


This article originally appeared in the 2018 Trends Report.


While well-intentioned, most people in procurement are living in a broken reality because they think the broken buying processes and supply chain interfaces they use each day are normal. This accepted reality keeps them focused on incremental improvements rather than the bigger picture, such as paying attention to signals from the supply chain that a new threat or opportunity is on the way. To overcome this, you almost need an intervention to show them that there is another way to approach procurement.


Excuses that new technologies need to mature for a few more years before they can be taken seriously are misguided. It is not about the technology, which is here and is ready now. We have all the technology we need to radically improve how we handle supply chains exists today. What we need to do is help decision-makers adopt the mindset needed to make the leap.


In 2018, companies that understand this and have committed to a transformation will find the first hook to apply this kind of thinking to a real problem. They will share a more ambitious vision that procurement, as it exists today, will cease to exist in five to ten years while buying and selling will continue. IT departments have seen the same change over the last decade and they now deliver innovation in addition to keeping the lights on.


Procurement executives will also realise that getting to a 100% digital supply chain is the starting point, not the finish line. Rather than fixating on things such as dialling in spend under management and the best supplier deals on items such as office stationery, in future, procurement will be more focused on creativity and value generation. Everyone with a mobile device and access to the likes of Amazon will be procuring while hidden automation, logic and intelligence will take place on platforms to ensure the access, controls and visibility are in place.


In 2018, the top 20% of procurement teams will show the remaining 80% the path forward.


Christian Lanng is cofounder and CEO at Tradeshift


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.

Christian Lanng
Posted by Christian Lanng

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