Procurement technology is evolving at breakneck speed – thanks to technology! Transformation is the order of the day, as enterprise procurement organizations are no longer just tactical teams focused on cost reduction, but strategic entities that drive enterprise-wide value.
As in other spheres, technology can transform the sourcing and procurement space, helping CPOs maximize efficiency and automate mundane tasks. In fact, early adoption of procurement technology has helped firms reduce overall costs and catalyze internal process optimization. Irrespective of their size, procurement organizations can benefit from this technology revolution.
Many organizations have moved on from ordinary e-procurement to a full service end-to-end procurement suite. As predicted by Garner in the 2013 report, consolidation within the procurement technology space is driving larger companies to acquire smaller solutions and integrate offerings in favour of a more holistic solution, as opposed to developing a platform for their own module. Here’s a brief look at some of the key trends in the procurement technology market:
Cloud-based Platform - A single, unified cloud-based procurement platform that streamlines and automates all procurement processes, including spend analysis, savings tracking, sourcing, contract management, and ‘procure-to-pay’. It not only boosts process efficiency but also allows all business stakeholders to collaborate efficiently and optimize savings opportunities.
Native Mobility - A cloud-based, mobile native procurement software would allow procurement professionals to work on the go, on any device – PC, laptop, tablet or mobile – boosting productivity and enabling informed, effective, decision making.
Built-in Social Collaboration - Procurement technology with built-in social collaboration tools can help enterprise procurement teams increase productivity, foster innovation through improved collaboration with suppliers and other stakeholders, minimize risk, and enable effective decision making.
Creative Features - A unified procurement platform with a set of innovative features, such as sourcing and category workbenches, real-time market intelligence, and supplier enabled innovation would allow procurement organizations to increase their impact and drive more value across the business.
Intuitive Intelligence - A cloud-based procurement technology solution comprising intuitive A.I.-based analytics and advanced risk management tools, with intuitive alert-and-report mechanisms can deliver actionable insights to help maximize savings opportunities and mitigate risks before they happen.
According to SpendMatters, 'Purpose-built Procurement Technology' will be the dominant trend in the future. It will be "a procurement universe where energy and process companies can manage complex field-level engineer and construction projects in the same procurement environment (including mobile enablement) as the rest of their purchases... a new world where healthcare procurement teams can influence physician preference items with on-the-fly product substitutions, without having to restart an entire buying process".