May 17, 2020

Five predictions about what procurement will look like in 2025

SAP Ariba
Supply Chain
SAP Ariba Live
Procurement
James Henderson
2 min
SAP Ariba has made five predictions about the future of procurement
SAP Ariba has shared it vision about the state of globalprocurement we could see in 2025.

As part of its SAP Ariba Live event that is currentlytaking p...

SAP Ariba has shared it vision about the state of global procurement we could see in 2025. 

As part of its SAP Ariba Live event that is currently taking place in Las Vegas, the company has shared it thoughts on this future of the procurement industry. 

SAP Ariba believes technology will make business more personal, contextual, intelligent and efficient in the years ahead. And in the process, procurement will become less tactical and more strategic. 

“For the last two decades, procurement has been on a journey that has led to dramatic transformation. But the journey is just beginning,” said Marcell Vollmer, Chief Digital Officer, SAP Ariba. “Over the next 10 years, companies will face more opportunity and disruption than ever. And procurement will play a critical role in maximizing these opportunities to create business value.

In embracing digital technologies and strategies, procurement can reimagine the function and beyond delivering cost savings and process efficiencies, fuel innovation and market advantage.”

So what will procurement and the technologies used to power it look like in the future? According to SAP Ariba Procurement 2025:

Not Your Father’s Buyer – Far from managing orders and invoices, procurement will leverage technology to automate mundane tasks and focus on strategic work, becoming a key driver of corporate goals and business innovation. Intelligent systems will be self-learning, providing consumer-like, personalized user experiences that make purchasing a snap.

Brand Ambassadors – All companies want to do well. But procurement will also help them do good and become stewards of corporate reputation and brand perception by ensuring a sustainable supply chain.

Chief Collaborators – To achieve their cost, revenue and cash flow goals, companies need to be connected. Procurement will take the lead in driving a more collaborative way of doing business, using networks to connect to suppliers, customers and partners around the world to efficiently get things done.

Super Networks – To create value, networks need to network. Hyperconnected ecosystems will become the standard for procurement, enabling a unified process from source to settle that delivers speed and business agility.

Data Drivers – Data is the new currency. And buyers and sellers alike will leverage real-time insights, predictive analytics, blockchain and artificial intelligence to make smarter, more informed decisions that move their businesses forward.

“Procurement organisations are on the brink of more change – and the future is bright,” Vollmer said. “In the coming years, procurement will rethink everything from technology and resource allocation to talent and skill sets and remake the function to operate the way they want it to and the way it should.”

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Jul 31, 2021

RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to a proactive supply chain

Supplychain
Technology
RFID
IoT
Jill West, Vice President Stra...
4 min
RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to shifting supply chain’s technology adoption from reactive to proactive in the post-pandemic era

Across supply chains around the world, we have seen leading companies rely heavily on technologies like AI and IoT during the pandemic. These digital solutions have enabled businesses to accurately capture and ultimately use their own first-party data to drive efficiencies and protect increasingly fragile bottom lines.

However, what is less commonly known is the increasing role of RAIN RFID technology in supporting IoT solutions. By using RAIN RFID to capture item data and then feed that data into AI systems, businesses can identify inefficiencies within the supply chain and make informed decisions.

What is RAIN RFID?

In short, RAIN RFID is a powerful IoT technology that enables itemised data collection. By applying small, battery-free tags to items, organisations can identify, locate, and authenticate each of those items, scanning up to thousands of items simultaneously with a variety of devices, including hand-held, fixed and wearable readers.

RAIN RFID solutions dramatically improve the operational capabilities of an organisation by ensuring they have exactly the right items, in the right quantities, at the right locations, at the right time. During the pandemic, RAIN RFID solutions have been key to limiting disruptions in retail and manufacturing supply chains, most notably by increasing inventory and asset visibility and improving the management and flow of goods. 

Three ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns

RAIN RFID is used to streamline processes, maintain real-time inventory, increase productivity, and help manage labour shortages. We see three key ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns:

  1. Automate shipment verification: Today, significant labour is required for multiple, manual barcode scans during the shipment process. RAIN RFID tags can be read automatically without a direct line of sight, erasing the need for workers to pause, locate a barcode, and scan it. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate their shipment verification process and improve warehouse efficiencies by up to 25%.
  2. Deliver real-time visibility: Retail Systems Research says that 76% of supply chain survey respondents reported that real-time inventory visibility was their leading focus for improving performance. When supply chain managers lack information about the status of assets and shipments moving into and out of warehouses, confidence and productivity suffer. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders gain real-time visibility into an item’s identity, usage, and location. With this information, they can quickly find inventory and assets, and reduce the cost of asset investments. 
  3. Improve order accuracy: Today, companies rely on redundant manual checks to verify that the right cartons are loaded onto the correct pallets. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate pallet build verification to streamline the process and increase order accuracy. In fact, a recent study by Auburn University found that RAIN RFID can help an organisation achieve up to 100% order accuracy, eliminating claims costs and unhappy customers.  

RAIN RFID can increase value of AI-powered analytics

In today’s AI-driven, rapid decision-making business environment, RAIN RFID is uniquely capable of making systems more effective. This is because it provides item identifiers for tracking and locating billions of items, from clothing to food, pharmaceuticals, tools, packages, pallets, and more.

It also works without line-of-sight, providing visibility into places and processes not previously available. The data provided by a RAIN RFID system can give AI-powered solutions the ability to see individual items throughout the supply chain, understand how the entire supply chain is functioning and identify which areas can be improved. 

As companies accelerate digital transformation, we expect to see a rise in interconnected data as investments into new technologies and IoT surge. But as the volume of real-time and accurate data about the movement of goods rises, so too do the demands on operations teams to make sound business decisions quickly and with confidence, often using AI-powered systems that thrive on improved data to make better decisions. 

As an example, over the past several years, Delta Airlines transformed its customer experience by investing in technology including real-time RAIN RFID bag tracking and automatic check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app. Delta is now leveraging this set of investments in their implementation of an AI-driven platform that analyses millions of operational data points, from luggage movement to aircraft positions to flight crew restrictions to airport conditions. This system simulates operating challenges and creates hypothetical scenarios that help Delta’s professionals make critical operational decisions that improve the overall customer experience.  

Looking forward

The need to drive digital transformation rapidly during the pandemic has made supply chain and logistics professionals increasingly tech savvy. As we prepare for a post-pandemic era, companies’ increased know-how and awareness of solutions like RAIN RFID, IoT and AI will play a key role in evolving the industry’s approach to solving supply chain issues from reactive to proactive, setting them up for future success.

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