4 Technology Trends to Supercharge your Procurement
Artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics, and mobile have influenced different parts of the business and processes over the years. Procurement platforms continue to use and implement them in more traditional ways. As organizations become more digitally transformed, traditional and legacy procurement platforms also have to adapt to the changing technology trends. Here’s a closer look at these trends and how they will impact procurement:
1. Artificial Intelligence: Just a Technology Trend?
Procurement is not immune to the many impacts and possibilities of AI. So, what does this mean for a procurement solution? Some of the benefits organizations can accrue with the help of AI, according to a report by Spend Matters, are managing structured and unstructured data and being able to use forms of expressions that are closer to human interactions, evolving the source code and processes of the solution when being exposed to new scenarios, information, and responses, using approaches that are able to observe and learn through education and enabling optimal outcome with new knowledge and insights. Since AI gets generated from the data provided, it offers a massive opportunity for those looking to leverage it for their procurement.
2. Big Data for Predictive Analytics and Insight
Procurement teams now make some of the most critical decisions in business than ever before. Big data and predictive analytics provide this information and aids in the promise of the transformative power of procurement.
From creating self-service reports and scorecards on spend, supplier, and compliance data, to using predictive analytics to forecast demand, spend, and pricing – analytics not only helps in alleviating business and supplier risk, but it also helps in understanding trends that help in better decision making and consequently transforming your business, for the better.
3. Mobile: Enabling Access on the Go
Mobile devices have permeated every facet of our lives. They have ushered in a new era of access to information anywhere and anytime. Procurement platforms, however, aren’t yet close to capitalizing on the potential benefits of mobility.
Mobility is an enabler of more streamlined procurement processes, in the form of creation of PRs or POs, while on the go. Tasks like responding to notifications, barcode scanning, coordination, and upgrading process workflows can be performed both off-site and on-site. It reduces turnaround time and increases efficiency.
4. Scale-up with the Cloud
Of all emerging technologies, the cloud has had and will have the most impact on Procurement. In the past, a procurement team had to send out a lengthy RFP and review all the responses. This process often required months of evaluation before they presented their recommendation and findings to all stakeholders.
For starters, the cloud offers seamless scalability, unlimited storage, and power. Not only is this hassle-free, simple to implement, upgrade, integrate, and less time consuming, but it is also more cost-effective. A cloud-based procurement application also tends to have a steeper learning curve and more extensive organization adoption rates similar to legacy systems or on-premise solutions.
The Way Ahead
With many of today’s traditional procurement systems nearing their end or becoming obsolete, businesses need to look at their entire ecosystem and processes through a lens of digital transformation or risk going into oblivion. By embracing this change, organizations can create and execute a roadmap that will yield real and positive ROI and is also flexible enough to change with the changing market dynamics.