Think back a decade ago and most procurement professionals will agree that the landscape has changed a great deal. Procurement has transformed from a buying function within the organisation to a strategic resource and key driver of business value. Technology systems are more integrated across the entire source to pay process, helping manage supply chains in new and exciting ways.
And the future points to more and more collaboration across the organisation, as well as new ways of buying and some completely new procurement processes.
In this blog post we have gathered viewpoints from technology experts and procurement leaders via a series of in-depth interviews, uncovering their visions for how procurement technology may evolve, providing inspiration for the future and advice on how to prepare for it.
We’ll represent these expert views in four distinct visions, which we’ve detailed below:
- Vision 1: The catalogue is dead; long live the catalogue
- Vision 2: Procurement intelligence goes artificial
- Vision 3: Integration without frontiers
- Vision 4: It’s procurement Jim, but not as we know it
Vision one – the catalogue is dead; long live the catalogue
We all know the traditional rules of procurement and purchasing. Source your supplier, agree product or services and prices, set up a supplier catalogue, and then start buying. But the world has changed and certainly in non-core categories there can be good deals to be had from the likes of Amazon, Overstock or AliExpress, in addition to thousands of more niche online retailers.
As procurement continues to move away from the administrative day to day processes, there could be significant gains to be made by a more fluid approach. While we’re probably not going to see organisations ‘shopping’ like this for their critical supplies or commodities – which would be contractually risky or go against the best practice – we do think that procurement technologies will adapt to offer layered buying processes.
Catalogues and contracts will still reign for critical suppliers, but also more ‘off the cuff’, automated mini sourcing, and the scraping of e-commerce sites to find the lowest possible deal every day could become prevalent for other purchases. What’s more, systems may start to decide what the best approach to buying is in each instance.
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