Cloud networks: the route to ethical cost reduction

A leading expert in supply relationship management has urged procurement leaders to harvest the benefits…...

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A leading expert in supply relationship management has urged procurement leaders to harvest the benefits of newly emerging digital networks and technologies to achieve ethical cost reduction.

In a new article, a veteran of the industry Padmini Ranganathan highlighted the dual-process transformation that is currently underway in procurement services. Technology has enabled a vast acceleration in global commerce which has, in turn, spawned a huge expansion of supranational governance structures. These bodies subsequently determine the conduct of every element in these complex supply chains.

Human eyes and ears alone are simply unable to keep abreast of these numerous rules and regulations. But, by embracing highly sophisticated digital technologies like cloud-based networks, procurement professionals can make sure that they are in full compliance of data regulations at every level of the supply chain while achieving ethical cost reductions. These online networks help to ensure absolute transparency for the interlinked operations of suppliers and purchasers while shining a spotlight on the procurement and production practises of all trading partners.

Visibility is good for ethical businesses. The unprecedented visibility afforded by these digital networks allows organisations to build new collaborations with suppliers in real-time, expand opportunity assessment to enable the diversification of available sources of raw materials, assuage third-party risk and, perhaps most importantly, ensures compliance of all parties in the supply chain. Customers and shareholders want this every bit as much as governments do.

Cloud networks can help buyers to squeeze out unscrupulous practices from the supply chain, such as forced labour. They also facilitate visible environmental responsibility and include minority- and women-owned firms in the supply chain as well as ensuring that equal pay for equal work is observed to help reduce the gender pay gap throughout.

Other new technologies such as drones, autonomous tractors, Internet of Things sensors and radio-frequency chips are transforming farming, allowing farmers to tailor their yield to meet demand as never before and avoid the old, perennial problem of crops spoiling before reaching consumers.

As Ranganathan puts it: “… technology empowers procurement leaders to effect meaningful change not only for their business but for the world around them.”

Ed Cross

Ed founded Odesma in 2014 with the explicit intent of creating a new kind of procurement consultancy founded entirely on cloud principles. Deploying best-of-breed subject matter experts alongside the best on demand technology to deliver rapid and effective change for customers.

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