Digital transformation is a term that has come to define the shift in modern procurement - but what does it actually mean? As an umbrella term it is useful to define the direction an organisation is heading: where processes are automated, tenders and supplier partnerships are managed through software, and data is the backbone of every decision.
Stephen Day, CPO at Kantar admits that he has “absolutely no idea” what terms like digitalisation actually mean, in part due to a ubiquitous application that have rendered them ineffective and with "no meaning”.
It is a topic he delves into during a session at Procurement and Supply Chain Live titled Data and its role in Procurement Transformation, highlighting what ‘digital’ has come to represent during Kantar’s own procurement transformation.
"What I think is really going on is that we’re living in world where data is more widely available, it’s more widely collected, it’s used in a plethora of applications to run our professional lives and our daily lives. If I think about the transformation we’re driving at Kantar I can’t help but think it needs to come from the way that we bring together our data.”
Spend data, commercial data and supplier data, each of which are important in their own way in contributing to the overall picture. But it is supplier data where Day believes the most value can be derived in pushing forward important DE&I initiatives.
“We’re talking, as we should, about diversity and inclusion these days. I actually think we’ve got a very big challenge, because we might have the ethos in our business, we might try and change the shape and composition of the teams we run and manage, I think we’re doing very little actually in terms of the active measurement in our supply chain.”
Making Data Act in Procurement
Beyond capturing and measuring data, Day says that making data act will be key.
“I really think data is a very fluid resource. People think it is a very binary thing… but it is one of the most important resources that are available to us. And it is in [procurement’s] gift to develop, martial it, invest in it, and transform it. My conviction would be that in doing that, and doing it well, you are really giving a turbo charge to this terminology of digital transformation."