Why procurement professionals need digitisation

A seasoned supply chain executive has recently advocated for the bold embrace of emerging digital…...

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A seasoned supply chain executive has recently advocated for the bold embrace of emerging digital technology to achieve a profound procurement transformation.

Writing for ThomasNet.com, a leading sourcing and supplier discovery platform for procurement professionals, supply chain executive Rose Celestin has issued some crucial insights. In the report, Celestin underlines how leading-edge spend analytics and other advanced technologies are increasing value for businesses by delivering better category management, better cost reduction, and more effective supply relationship management. In general, this is thanks to a vastly more sophisticated data harvesting and analysis techniques, to deliver desired business objectives.

For example, strategic sourcing activities have traditionally been bedevilled by lengthy lead times, primarily because of the intricacy of sourcing critical items and services. But new suppler discovery platforms are changing that, harnessing the expertise of suppliers and helping companies to tune in to emerging market trends. This precious market intelligence has been shown to lead directly to increased sales and revenues.

Meanwhile, technologies like cloud/Software-as-a-Service and mobile solutions are already paving the way to far more effective collaborative relationships between formerly siloed business units such as procurement, finance, legal and IT. Improved budget control and more efficient cost reduction are direct outcomes of the smart use of this tech. Real-time dashboards, document sharing and tracking software and e-signature features are all helping to optimise business operations, enabling more effective governance.

Celestin notes that e-sourcing and contract lifecycle management tools are enabling much swifter negotiation and contract cycles, hugely improved supply relationship management, improved efficiency and boosted revenue due to cost reductions.

Noting the divide between the bold uptake of new procurement tech in the private sector and its sluggish uptake in the public sector, which remains far more compliance-centric and legislation-mandated, Celestin urges procurement teams in public procurement to get on board with tech as soon as possible.

Public sector leaders, she writes, “can use technology to gain better control of the legal aspects of procurement, allowing for easier processes in reducing legislative infractions and maverick spend.”

Nick Ford

Nick has over 30 years procurement experience in consulting, outsourcing and line roles within industry with international experience across many sectors and industries and led many procurement programs with blue chip organisations.

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