ICYMI: What Does Polymorphism Have to Do with Procurement? Everything!

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In case you missed it (ICYMI) last week, Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell introduced procurement to the world of polymorphism – or polymorphism to the world of procurement, pick your pleasure. This term, which hasn’t necessarily been connected to procurement until now, is about how an object can take on multiple forms or behave differently depending on what context the object is operating in.

This term ‘polymorphism’ fits well in technology environments and specifically procurement technology, Pierre wrote in his article: Polymorphism: The Key to a Mass-Customized Procurement Organization and Technology Platform. Pierre said:

“In fact, if I may be so bold to say that flexible, intelligent technology applications will be nearly as important to revolutionizing business processes as flexible, intelligent manufacturing and warehousing systems have been to revolutionizing the supply chain. This is especially true for procurement processes that need to be “shape-shifting” supply provisioners that adapt to the context of any demand source needing external products and services to help deliver business outcomes.”

Polymorphism also relates to mass customization, which is the ability of a supply chain to scale to mass production and customization of engineering to order, Pierre said. He wrote:

“This is a well-known concept in supply chain management where flexible manufacturing systems within the factory can help crush down-cycle times and help move the firm from a make-to-stock environment to a make-to-order environment. With additive manufacturing and 3-D scanning, the concept can be taken to new extremes. The basic idea, though, is that the products take different forms even though they come from one supply chain process.”

Polymorphism, while perhaps new to the procurement area, is an idea that can have a major impact on the field. As Pierre said in his article, “This is not just a huge topic that will impact the future of procurement technology applications, but also the future of service providers and procurement organizations themselves that are service providers.”
Check out the full article, which we published last week on Spend Matters.

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