• Richard Sains

The Agile Procurement Revolution


Technology is increasingly driving Procurement functions


The workplace of 2019 has been transformed by technology. Organisations are embracing technology driven change such as remote working, mobile applications and big data powered visibility. Across Procurement categories, IT Procurement expertise is required in areas which were traditionally tech free as disruptive innovations change decades-old business models.


Procurement is no different. There are many new entrants into the procurement systems landscape with a focus on streamlining the operational and strategic elements of the procurement process including e-auctions, P2P systems and e-procurement. There is also a new generation in the workplace who are digitally native and will not accept the technology of the past, with its clunky workflow and poor user experience. Now, the ability to quickly work on your projects anywhere is of paramount importance.


New procurement technology will lead to a better informed, quicker and more valuable procurement contribution than delivering pure cost savings. The ability for organisations to deliver greater value to more projects with no extra resource will take procurement to the next level in today's more innovative organisations.


Procurement needs to be more agile


Gone are the days of 6-9 month RFP process for all but the largest of requirements. Procurement teams need to react to an ever changing and mobile supply market. This requires decisions to be made by a smaller and leaner project team, given increased autonomy and empowerment to run a process that educates the organisation on the marketplace, making the best choice at that point in time - recognising that in a year's time it could have changed beyond all recognition.


With changes in the supply market happening so quickly, there will be a further shift from long term contracts to shorter contracts working with startup suppliers that larger organisations have traditionally shied away from. Risk appetites will need to change - but the rewards can be immense.


The downside of an increasing number of smaller suppliers will be in the governance and management of these suppliers. The solution? The use of tools and systems to manage these suppliers.


It's an exciting time to work in procurement and procurement systems - realising the opportunities that new technology can bring to revolutionise our businesses.

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