Over the last three weeks Source One's executives have reflected on the the hottest procurement and supply management trends shaping the industry and shared their insights on what to expect in the next year. Bringing the three part series to a close, we'll explore the tools and practices shaping the future of procurement, as well as what may be to come for the market landscape.  

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Data, Data, Data
Marketing and sales have been reaping the benefits of advanced analytics- using the data gathered to gauge consumer behavior and improve targeting. Procurement, on the other hand, has been slow to take the next step in the data movement, but the benefits of applying Advanced Analytics are seemingly unlimited. Imagine the ability to predict supply chain trends to make smarter purchasing decisions, better anticipate and react to risk, and build strategic relationships with suppliers. Predictive Analytics makes all of these things possible. Procurement professionals got a taste of it in 2015, but 2016 holds promise as Procurement advances with predictive analytics to make smarter and faster business decisions.

Knowing What it Takes to Transform Procurement
For many organizations, the past year has been one of self-assessment – taking a reflective look at practices that did and didn’t work. While these current state assessment exercises have been relatively easy to conduct, many companies are still challenged by understanding or gaining access to an accurate point of comparison to see how their operations stack up to the market. As a result, Source One’s executives have observed an increased demand for industry benchmarking and procurement transformation initiatives. While this trend is anticipated to continue, our experts also predict an increased need for not only clarity in terms of how their operations stack up to their competitors, but also support in taking procurement to the next level.

Supplier Relationship Management
With a growing trend of organizations seeking to drive further value from their supply base, it should come as no surprise in the upcoming months there will be brighter spotlight focused on the relationships we form with our suppliers. Pricing and savings, as we’ve discussed, are not the only measures of success. Procurement professionals are tasked with a number of other responsibilities, including fostering innovation and sustainability, all of which stems from the supply base. Over the next year and well into the future, organizations are anticipated to strengthen their relationships with suppliers and vendors, establishing well-structured programs encompassing everything from communication protocol to KPIs and reporting – allowing companies to truly see and measure the value their suppliers add to their business.

Consolidation of Procurement Outsourcing Market
As for the procurement market, our experts predict a shift in the landscape leading to increased collaboration between procurement services providers. Whether a procurement software or a boutique services firm, none is immune to the challenge of finding talent and these organizations are working together to fill in the gaps by working together to fill client needs. As a result, the upcoming year will mean additional acquisitions in the procurement outsourcing market, as well as an increase of services firms working together to leverage one another’s unique service offerings.

Without a doubt, 2015 has proved to be a significant year for supply chain and procurement, and our experts expect no less out of 2016. With a fresh start, the New Year presents new exciting opportunities and potential to shape the future of procurement. We’re ready. Are you?

Don;t forget, you can catch Source One, the exclusive sponsor of the Exec IN forum, this May at ISM2016. 

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