Procurement departments all over the world are utilizing procurement software and tools to automate the process of purchasing materials, finding new suppliers, running sourcing events and maintaining an inventory of goods, whether in distribution centers, in the pipeline or on the shelf. The advancement of technology is allowing procurement to enhance market coordination, foster increased compliance, introduce and vet new suppliers, and decrease human error within the sourcing initiative. These enhancements are not only beneficial to the procurement operation but beneficial to the buyer-supplier relationship through collaboration and communication.
Speaking of relationships, if you really think about it, technology has also allowed singles all over the world to perform their own e-procurement or sourcing event from their mobile phone, every day. Yes, I said it, online dating is a personal dating-procurement platform from your couch, on the bus etc.… With the influx of dating applications and websites, technology has indeed changed the dating game, forever. Let’s take the app, Bumble, for instance. Bumble allows you search (or vet in procurement speak) for single people in your area looking to meet for dating, friendship or any other activity you could care to mention. You can then do you research by googling, Facebooking, and “creeping” their Instagram feed to ensure this is a person you’d like to start and maintain a conversation with (moving into the RFP process). When this the small-talk is over, you already know their educational background, where they grew up, their job etc.… it’s rather intrusive, but we all do it. Each stage of the online dating experience and process replicates the basic sourcing initiative engagement:
Step 1 - Baseline: The baseline would include past relationship(s), current relationship(s), dating experiences and other’s dating experiences. This corresponds with establishing your current state with your incumbent supplier and even past supplier relationships that you have encountered.
Step 2- Request for Information (RFI): This is the process of reading profiles and selecting which suitors you’ll chose to engage in conversation and eventually “invite” to the Request for proposal stage of the initiative. This mirrors calling and vetting alternate suppliers to potentially include in the RFP process.
Step 3 – Request for Proposal (RFP): In this stage, just as you would in a procurement event, you are asking questions to understand if the suitor (supplier) will meet your requirements and if they would be a good fit.
Step 4 - On-Site Visit/Testing: Simply put, this is meeting your suitor(s) to really understand if the relationship would be a good fit. In procurement, it could be on-site visits, photography test shoots, test runs and so much more.
Step 5 - Supplier Selection: This is step we’ve all been waiting for… choose your suitor! (or supplier)
To conclude, dating and the sourcing process are really not that far apart. Technology is making procurement not only streamlined for the procurement industry, but also for meeting like-wise singles.