Procurement has become an increasingly dynamic business function among today's companies. The rapid changes that have taken place in many firms' strategic sourcing models have been driven in part by the way new technologies are speeding up operations across industries and making enterprises more agile than ever before. In this climate, no process is exempt from examination, reevaluation and overhaul in light of the insights provided by real-time data.
This means that to remain competitive and agile in contemporary markets, any given company needs to stay in tune with broader developments in other businesses' sourcing strategies and adapt its procurement process accordingly. As such, firms should acquaint themselves with three widespread trends in supplier and purchasing management for today's tech-centric enterprise environment.
1. Silos give way to transparency
There's been a good deal of talk about breaking down silos within businesses in years since the cloud and big data began their rise to prominence, but this principle applies just as much to managing the procurement process as it does to streamlining internal operations. In a blog post for Supply Management, GT Nexus Marketing Manager for Europe Boris Felgendreher pointed out that silos within supplier networks can be overcome by boosting efficiency and transparency while also obtaining greater visibility into sources of risk. This effort can help firms implement more careful spend management practices.
"Overall net savings can be measured through reduced routing delays and faster reactions to changing trends," wrote Felgendreher.
2. Corporate responsibility increases
Having access to data also helps companies more critically evaluate the impacts that their processes have on the environment and society. Felgendreher pointed out that customers have become increasingly sustainability-savvy, and federal regulations are encouraging companies to go green as well. At a time when sophisticated analytics tools are providing greater-than-ever insight into business operations, enterprises may no longer have an excuse for ignoring sustainability in their procurement management strategies.
3. Data becomes essential
Technology is providing access to data that makes strategic sourcing more effective than ever - and as more and more companies operate with the high level of agility made possible by big data insights, access to larger information sets and more powerful analytics will prove to be a key differentiator. A recent report by KPMG noted that effective procurement professionals "will have the ability to consume large quantities of data, in multiple forms, and derive meaningful market insights as impetus to categories."
As such, companies should be sure to leverage e-sourcing tools that are sophisticated enough to give them a competitive edge.