If you’re not disrupting, then you are being disrupted. If procurement doesn’t get to grips with the right technology, then the profession’s future path is uncertain.
Watch our free webinar, ‘200,000,000 to 1: Using Technology to Find Your Perfect (Supply) Partner’, here.
The current pace of change around the world is unprecedented. Procurement and the wider organisation are quickly recognising that maintaining the status quo will not suffice in staying ahead of the pack.
However, that’s not to say that simply implementing a technology solution will solve every problem. No technology is perhaps better for the long-term health of an organisation, than a poorly chosen technology, implemented poorly.
Procurement 4.0 is a term many of us are using to encapsulate the changes Industry 4.0 is making in the supply chain. Also known as the fourth manufacturing revolution, Industry 4.0 marks the convergence of physical and digital manufacturing capabilities, where increasing automation and computerisation allow us to create so-called ‘smart’ workplaces.
Technology is at the core of the Industry 4.0 changes. Procurious hosted a webinar last week, in conjunction with Oracle, to discuss the critical role technology will play in the evolution and advancement of the procurement profession in this “brave new world”.
Ask the Experts
We invited David Hobson, Business Development Director, Cloud Solutions at Oracle, and Darryl Griffiths, Enrich Director of Delivery and Presales, to help us answer the tricky questions.
The discussion covered four key topics and challenges that face procurement, and provided some solutions as to how the profession can deal with them in the future.
“IT is only ever an enabler for change.”
Procurement is under a lot of pressure today to find suppliers who will deliver the ground-breaking innovation that will give their company a huge competitive advantage.
However, real innovation is now coming from smaller, more agile companies, which procurement hasn’t traditionally worked well with. Traditional procurement structures and processes have been designed to work with large strategic suppliers, and are now inhibiting innovation.
- Why most rationalisation and standardisation efforts in the supply base have failed.
- How the right technology or platform can ensure that performing supplier relationships are fully leveraged.
- Why the challenge for business is to be able to adapt and apply new solutions and technology for competitive advantage
- Why highly customised legacy systems, fragmented data, complex integrations and inefficient processes are hindering the digital innovation agenda.
“Increasingly the evolution of the procurement function is to more proactive, rather than reactive.”
Spend management and standardising processes can come across as a pretty uninspiring (yet essential) part of what we do. Technology, innovation and digital strategies are where people want to be, but it all comes undone if we’re not managing risks in the supply chain.
On the table in this topic was:
- The question of are procurement using the right tools in the right way?
- The vast array of data available for tracking compliance, and how organisations can best leverage this.
- How automating non-differentiating processes will free up time for value creating parts of the business, such as gathering insights into changing market dynamics.
- Why many organisations are still grappling with getting data into a structured and accurate form that they can use for predictive analytics.
“Organisations that are effective in integrating data outrank their peers by 70 per cent across revenue and margin.”
If procurement can get its processes frictionless, we could then focus on the sexier, more value-adding, parts of procurement.
Standardised processes are a huge enabler for this. And, of course, technology plays a huge role in helping realise the benefits of standardised processes.
We found that:
- In the past, often the best the system ever was on go live day, thanks to sporadic, or non-existent updates
- Few organisations are entirely harmonised across business operations, as result of M&A, divisional evolution and conflicting business demands.
- People tend to underestimate the complexity of stitching together the myriad vendor solutions as they aim for a more B2C-type interface
- We will see gaming industry concepts and increasing virtual representation as part of Industry 4.0
“The journey to Cloud is often viewed as a when, rather than an if.”
Time and time again, we hear stories about how the business case a software solution hasn’t been realised due to a failed implementation.
Among some of the most common reasons for this are a lack of understanding that this is a change management process, not just a technology roll-out, and cuts to budget for training and support.
Our experts also argued that:
- Solutions providers need to move from being software companies, to being service companies, or risk losing their customers.
- Grand technological visions of the past failed as the solutions we too far out of line with the business needs
- Regardless of solution some common foundations exist for any project success which include rubbish data in means rubbish data out.
- Change management is vital in implementation, or people will revert to old habits
- Focus needs to be on proving the tools first to help quickly establish credibility
These are just some of the highlights from the webinar. You can catch up with the full discussion by signing up here.
And the learning doesn’t stop there. If you have any questions, please let us know below, and we’ll make sure it gets passed along to the experts.
For more information, and to watch the full webinar, visit our dedicated page.