The boom of technology implementation and its effectiveness were quickly tested by the challenges of the pandemic. While some challenges were solved successfully – collaboration via video conferences – the pandemic has stressed the structure and effectiveness of other areas.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen artificial intelligence (AI) being used for a host of procurement applications, from spend analysis to supplier risk monitoring. Now, the same technology is increasingly being applied to commodity forecasting.
In the right situation, this can provide invaluable insights. AI makes it possible to look at larger, more complicated data sets over a longer period of time, helping to improve the accuracy of predictions and supercharge decision-making, near real-time.
In the midst of global disruption, fluctuating demand and supply has driven industry leaders to hold sourcing events more frequently amid the chaos.
While supply chain challenges continue, it is crucial that businesses equip themselves with tech that allows for both standard and complex sourcing events. This is especially true as the need to drive non-cost objectives around sustainability initiatives, delivery speed and more rises.
Nothing in business is risk-free. Every department in a company needs to deal with risk daily.
Risk management appears to be a simple concept, yet it is a highly complicated aspect of organizational and procurement strategy.
We all know that procurement must be dependable and secure. Hence, it's crucial to control and mitigate the variety of risks connected with business operations to achieve success.
The global COVID-19 pandemic put supply chain management and procurement in a very bright and positive spotlight for keeping life moving as normal as possible during all the shutdowns, disruption and general uncertainty.
It also highlighted that business and supply chain disruption are ongoing facts of life – such as ongoing extreme weather events globally and a megaship blocking the Suez Canal for weeks, to name just two. And the impacts created a snowball effect on other industries:
The best-performing procurement organizations traditionally operate at a lower cost than typical procurement organizations (i.e., peers), while also providing greater strategic value and overall effectiveness.
The COVID-19 pandemic made an already challenging marketplace even more complicated, forcing businesses to seek out value in every corner of their operations—including in their extended networks. As a result, Global Business Service (GBS) organizations are increasingly investing in new capabilities, demonstrating to parent organizations their ability to improve business outcomes as a true strategic partner.
Procure-to-pay (P2P), which involves the four key stages of selecting goods and services, enforcing compliance and order, receiving and reconciliation, and invoicing and payment, is a core business process that offers exceptional opportunities for optimization and integration.
LogicSource and Sourcing Industry Group recently conducted a joint procurement technology survey. The results revealed some consistent, yet alarming, trends in procurement spend analytics. In short, responses made it apparent that procurement organizations at-large have yet to solve their spend data quality challenges.
Three key findings from the survey indicate the market’s need for more expertise and ongoing data services as it relates to procurement spend analytics:
The stark reality is, many, if not most, businesses fall short when implementing automated processes within procurement. Company leaders driven to improve efficiency and flexibility often attempt to revolutionize their entire function at once, opting for the "done and dusted" approach; this is a flawed strategy.
According to The Hackett Group’s 2021 Procurement Key Issues Study, the 2020 crisis continues to shape the 2021 procurement agenda. Unprecedented business disruption forced procurement organizations to refocus on supporting critical business operations and harnessing the value from supplier relationships, resulting in a pivot toward supply assurance and spend cost control.
In 2021, spend cost reduction remains the top priority for the procurement agenda and procurement must provide stability to the enterprise through spend cost control and supply assurance.
As I reflect on the turbulence from this infamous last year, a predictable pattern has emerged: organizations that were able to digitally transform their business prior to the pandemic were able to mitigate most of the risks the pandemic presented to business continuity. In obvious contrast, organizations that hadn’t been able to do so fell victim to those risk factors. As we saw with numerous industries, businesses unable to shift their focus quickly during lockdown or acute supply chain disruption, suffered great impact in the immediate term.
Given the supply chain disruption, business shut-downs and economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, it’s never been clearer — doing business closer to your own shores is coming back into vogue.
With recent restrictions on H-1B workers and a tech talent shortage, selecting a nearshorer is fast becoming the first step on a company’s digital transformation journey.
When artificial intelligence (AI) was first introduced in customer service, it was limited to basic chatbot features. Recent advancements are now bringing a sense of empathy and linguistics to AI agents.
Currently being tested by banks in the Middle East, this new AI can detect anger, frustration, and other human emotions both over the phone and online. Impressively, most customers can’t even detect that the voice on the other end of the line is not human.
At the time of writing this piece, I am just one of five million people emerging from the world’s longest coronavirus-related lockdown, in Melbourne, Australia. For nearly two months, I was only allowed to leave the house once a day for essential items and required to stay within three miles of my home. From takeaway meals to IT support, to doctor’s appointments, most of the goods and services I've needed have been ordered virtually. Since COVID-19 hit, I’m amazed at how quickly the world went virtual.