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There is no doubting the fact that technology is evolving at an ever faster rate, meaning that the possibilities to analyse and understand business performance is also increasing and is opening up all sorts of new opportunities.

 

For procurement that means being able to understand its supply chain and suppliers in much greater detail than has ever been possible before. But not just that, it open up the possibility of having that information in real time, which will speed up decision making and help eliminate risk.    

 

Bringing intelligence into real time is a big step forward for many procurement functions, but is one that functions must take if they want to future-proof themselves.

 

Natural disasters, geopolitical uncertainty and changing consumer habits show how fast the world is moving around businesses and those that are slowest to react to them are the ones that will lose out.

 

This is why those at the very top of the game are bringing real-time information into procurement and utilising it in a number of different areas including production, negotiation and logistics, all of which is helping to improve the efficiency of the function. 

 

The function though is not stopping there though. It is looking for how that data and those technologies can be developed further to drive even more efficiency out of the supply chain. 

 

The likes of IBM are spearheading the development of its Watson Company Analyzer, a system designed to assess all internal and external information about a supplier, which is hoped will ultimately save procurement professionals time and give them a wealth of intelligence on key stakeholders and suppliers.

 

“With Watson, we get information and advice more rapidly, giving more time to focus on high value-add activity. The aim is to help in working with stakeholders more closely, versus spending hours and hours researching the market and going through data,” IBM’s director of procurement policy, practices and strategy Nancy McGuire told Procurement Leaders a few months back.

 

Driving value through advanced analytics data and real-time intelligence is the future of the function and the key focus of the 2016 Data, Intelligence & TechX Summit in London in September, where senior executives and thought leaders from the likes of Google, ABN AMRO and Nokia will share their successes in the fields of cognitive computing, AI, robotic process automation, cloud infrastructure and data and cyber security.

 

The function needs to look forward and there is no time like the present to do that.

 

To find out more about the DITx summit click here.

 

This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.

Rachel Sharp
Posted by Rachel Sharp

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