With technology in the procurement hot seat and digital transformation being the priority for supply chain and procurement leaders, it’s critical that businesses take into account the other procurement variables involved, to optimise usage of new technologies. We learnt a lot about the wider demand for strategic planning at Procurement & Supply Chain Live where we gained insights from Simon Thompson, Sales Director at JAGGAER. While technology and artificial intelligence are becoming commonplace in the supply chain, businesses must apply them correctly to meet the needs of various stakeholders within their processes and achieve optimal results.
The foundations of strategic procurement planning
There are three main categories that contribute to a successful procurement strategy, technology, process, and people.
People are critical in procurement digital transformation
The majority of the talk is around the importance of technology in procurement processes, but without the right necessary skills in the workforce, businesses limit their ability to become more agile. According to Thompson, there are some key traits required for successful technology adoption:
- Analytics-minded - While there is not necessarily a need for technological experts, those involved with operating procurement software must be able to read and interpret charts and other data presentations.
- Tech Savvy - Again, not necessarily looking for coding experts, but employees must be able to work their way around modern systems and have a good understanding of how computers function.
- Fast and Agile - Businesses need to be capable of moving forward in a fast-paced environment. The ever-changing nature of technology means there will always be something new to learn.
- Be bold - While organisations preach about the advantages of technology for risk mitigation, leaders must go out of their comfort zones to adopt new solutions.
- Driven to learn and collaborate - As discussed, there are always new technology developments taking place and businesses need to be willing to invest in continuous learning to remain relevant.
Choosing the correct procurement solution for your team
Before firms can look into new procurement solutions for your business, they need to identify the pain points within their operations. These could be within and of the stages from sourcing to payment, including negotiations, contract management, supplier relationship management. Once these have been identified, the next stage is to find out what solutions are available—taking into account those who will use them.
While there is still uncertainty among procurement professionals around the adoption of technology, Johnson believes that there is no change without taking a leap. ‘The question shouldn’t be “What will happen if we move too quickly and make mistakes?” it should really be “What’s going to happen if we don’t?.” Be bold, take risks, let’s shape the future of procurement together’.
JAGGAER offers the ability to adopt digital solutions that work alongside personnel, but also in conjunction with suppliers. ‘The ability for tech to digitalise how organisations work with their suppliers is critical, Thompson says.
To find out more about what JAGGAER can offer your business, here is a practical guide to autonomous procurement.
For more procurement insights, you can now watch Procurement & Supply Chain Live on-demand, featuring Simon Thompson as he discusses procurement topics alongside other industry leaders.