Supply Management conference season is here once again.

Last week, Source One's innovative spend management team joined other forward-thinking supply chain professionals at JAGGAER's REV2018 conference. The three-day event featured expert-led panels and thought leadership sessions focused on innovation, acceleration, and education in Procurement. Since 1992, these ideas have proven essential to Source One's mission.

Associate Director Jennifer Ulrich discussed this mission throughout her presentation, Maximizing Fuel Efficiency. Calling upon her experience as Source One's Procurement Transformation Practice Lead, Ulrich offered tips and best practices for aligning Procurment's technology to serve its people and processes most effectively. This technology, she suggests, is only one component of an effective transformation.

Following Ulrich's presentation, Kristian O'Meara, JAGGAER's SVP of Value Engineering moderated a Q&A session. Interjecting with insights of his own, O'Meara provided for an intriguing conversation on an all-important subject.

O'Meara also took time to sit down with some members of Source One's Procurement optimization team to discuss his thoughts on emerging trends in Procurement technology.

Procurement's digital revolution is among supply management's hottest topics. Companies across nearly every industry are looking to make Procurement more strategic with artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and other developing solutions. The amount of new buzzwords is often overwhelming. These buzzwords, in particular, give O'Meara pause. He suggests caution and healthy skepticism when navigating the market for Procurement solutions. "Any and all buzzwords," he remarks, "can be stumbling blocks."

Flashy terminology doesn't tell Procurement much. In many instances, it gives professionals the sense that implementation will prove simple, and results will prove instant. Moving too quickly, they're disappointed to find that their new solutions have only exacerbated existing issues. O'Meara adds, "I think a lot of people miss the preparation that goes into a digital transformation. If you're not careful, you can create chaos by accelerating junk data through the enterprise."

The wild forecasting that surrounds terms like artificial intelligence can make it especially challenging to exercise care. As competitors embrace cutting-edge solutions, Procurement groups can start to believe they're falling behind. They cannot afford to forget, however, that implementing a technology that's poorly suited to their people and processes will only lead them to fall further behind.

Successfully selecting and implementing solutions means taking care to listen actively. Procurement can't make the right decision unless they've taken time to learn what internal and external stakeholders really need. O'Meara says that this is where a good strategic partner will distinguish themselves.

A third-party firm - like Source One or JAGGAER - can embed themselves within your supply chain, assess your operations, and assist in navigating the crowded procurement technology market. In fact, Source One's trip to REV2018 coincided with the announcement of their new Procurement Technology Advisory offering. This new addition to their suite of cost reduction services brings the leading firm closer to providing an end-to-end solution.

This coming week, Source One's team brings their Procurement Transformation expertise to ISM2018. Attendees are encouraged to visit Booth #729 attend Source One's pair of thought leadership presentations. Today, Sourcing Analyst Kaitlyn Krigbaum will discuss refining Procurement's brand in Orchestrating a Successful Procurement Transformation and Diego De la Garza will co-host Overcoming Procurement's Internal Image Problem on Wednesday, May 9.

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