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As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper:
"Complexity does not have to bring confusion or latency. Problem solving will become quicker and more elegant. From new data collection methods to processing horsepower (in the Amazon cloud, for example) to crunch through data, the answer to complexity does not have to be more complexity. There will be simplified and elegant solutions that can do much of the heavy lifting for us (e.g. configuring a custom dashboard in Tableau in hours rather than spending months configuring a similar front-end and collected reports in Hyperion)."
There’s an old expression, “Don’t work harder; work smarter.” Old as it may be, this is one of the adages of New Purchasing: The answer to complexity does not have to be more complexity.
Is this not the reason for enterprise technology? Organizations adopt solutions that enable their employees to work more quickly, more efficiently and with better organization. Really, this is the same reason that many people adopt technology in their personal lives, as well.
If you’re looking to build a website, you no longer need to code everything from scratch. Instead, services from sources like Google and Homestead can do that for you. With Google Domains, you can easily find a domain and build a website for your business, while their innovation services provide developer tools, APIs and other resources for quickly adding novel features. Similarly, Homestead offers you the means to “Get a site. Get found. Get customers.”
Each of these solutions providers offers you a simple, elegant solution for what seems like a pretty daunting task. Wouldn’t you expect the same technology treatment for improving your enterprise procurement?
Just as building a website for a personal blog or corporate website has never been easier, the same is true for creating an online shopping site. Shopify’s solution can help you to create an online storefront for one product or millions – without needing any specific design skills. With a platform like Mobify, you can even extend that digital marketplace with mobile touch points.
A solution like smartOCI provides the means for building and customizing your unique digital marketplace within minutes, even allowing you to integrate with the SAP SRM and SAP ERP purchasing systems via OCI standard and IBM Maximo, Oracle, PeopleSoft and NetSuite via CXML standard. This means working smarter when creating your e-commerce presence.
On the other end of the supply chain, organizations that have yet to adopt cloud-based technology solutions for their ERP and purchasing solutions are also working harder than they need to be.
We have noticed how some of the technological advancements in our personal lives are helping to reshape our business practices. People are now used to using those intelligent personal assistants (i.e. Siri, Cortana) on their smartphones to ask a quick question, hoping to receive a quick, automated response. The same ideology behind the results you receive from Siri or Cortana is already prevalent in e-procurement.
When you shop on Amazon, you’re always given suggestions for making purchases. These recommendations often include similar or complementary items from the seller. Imagine, instead of relying on the seller to suggest more of their items for the buyer, that the e-procurement platform could automatically suggest relevant purchases that also include your organization’s own purchasing history.
That’s New Purchasing. With elegance and simplicity, creating your own online marketplace or having purchasing suggestions come to you is not just the future, it’s the present.