How ‘Always-On’ Connectivity Improves the Buying Process

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi.

As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto:

Article 10: “Always-on” connectivity and visibility into activities will yield step change improvement in how and what we buy.

The era of “booting up” or “launching” an application to conduct activities is dead. Always-on connectivity means activities will follow us, such as receiving alerts on a smartphone or mobile device rather than having to log in and access a dashboard. This will change procurement activities and buying by providing insight based on role, location and need into different sets of activities and speeding up all processes, from approvals for requisitions to contract implementation that will allow us to implement savings more rapidly after sourcing events. 

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning? Did you wake up, roll over and look at your phone? Did you see alerts for stock price changes or news alerts about areas of interest? How about traffic warnings that told you what roads to avoid or emails that alerted you what to expect when you arrive at work? Because you’re always connected to your work and your world, even a “system down” notification is ironically sent right to your device(s).

How much easier was it to work in the old days? Without technology that was always kept on your person and always keeping you connected to your work, it’s easy to romanticize the previous era’s “disconnect-ability” as a means for salvaging more of that elusive work-life balance.

But really, how much “easier” was it actually to work in the old days? Not being able to access your email quickly – from anywhere and at any time, right in the palm of your hand – meant that you had to find a computer (probably a large, clunky desktop computer) just to check or respond to your email. Whether that computer was at your office or in your home, you were also likely waiting while the computer was being “booted up.” Without the cloud, you were also waiting (not so patiently) during the launching of applications.

Sure, you weren’t always connected to your work. Then again, you weren’t often connected to anything. In the modern business world, connectivity is not just a nice thing to have ­– it’s essential to remain connected to your email, your coworkers and your business just to remain competitive.

In your personal life, your mobile device allows you to always stay connected to the world beyond your immediate line-of-sight. In fact, no longer do you even need to seek out information. With a myriad of mobile features and applications, information is always being brought right to you.

As a repeated theme in our Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto, the same technology we use in our personal lives will continue to dictate how we conduct ourselves in our business lives. We’ve already grown accustomed to receiving alerts on our mobile devices for email, news and calendar information. In the world of New Purchasing, why shouldn’t those in a procurement organization also receive price alerts and vendor alerts?

The overarching concept of mobile procurement is to always remain connected – to your vendors, your coworkers, your data and information. Mobile procurement technology taps into the capabilities of your mobile device(s) in order to make this happen. Not only are those devices beneficial to the on-the-go workforce for electing to complete tasks as they need to, they’re also unique in their ability to alert you to a task that may need your attention.

This means that if a vendor has just received a restock of an item you’ve been looking to obtain, you can be alerted of it. If a coworker wishes for you to approve a purchase, you can be alerted of it. If your manager requests a revision to the order you requested, you can be alerted of it. The “always-on” connectivity and visibility of mobile procurement will cater to a faster, more efficient purchasing process: New Purchasing.

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