Procurement is getting its digitized act together

While supply chain managers have been slow to integrate digitization in the procurement function, the trend may finally be gaining traction, says a new report.

By ·

“The Future of Digital Procurement,” a new report released by Accenture, maintains that many supply chain managers are seeking to modernize this function, but may not have the tools to get started.

“The digital revolution has largely overlooked procurement,” the consulting firm declares. In its report, analysts examine how artificial
intelligence (AI)
and analytics add to the equation, thereby expediting digital procurement to produce better informed buying decisions, open new channels for engaging suppliers and drive new efficiencies through smart automation.

Art Nourot, vice president of Carrier Procurement, at UNYSON, notes that as the industry becomes increasingly digitized, new demands are being made on the suppliers and service providers, such as 3PLs in North America, that interact with the procurement function. “More transparency leads to greater efficiencies,” he says. “But at the same time, we must all be building better firewalls and find ways to keep our data secure.”

Stepping up

In today’s economy, many companies are racing to embrace digital to transform key areas of their businesses. These include “customer-facing” functions such as marketing, sales and service. To date, procurement hasn’t commanded the same kind of attention or investment, according to Accenture. “True, companies have enthusiastically embraced eProcurement systems and even cloud-based procurement tools,” writes Managing Director Kristin Ruehle. “But it’s time to move beyond simply replicating the same tedious procurement processes with new software. Leading companies are taking the next step to create a true digital procurement organization.”



About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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