Robert Handfield on the Future of Procurement Technology: GPTS 2016

Robert Handfield NC State

Earlier this morning at #ProcureTech2016, Professor Robert Handfield, of the Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University, gave a must-attend talk on rethinking the future of procurement technology by putting data first — and how to ensure you’ve got the right set of information at the core of sourcing, supply chain and supplier engagement activities.

Informed by his research at NC State and the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, Dr. Handfield delved into topics surrounding the importance of putting data first in procurement, ranging from deep supply chain topics (e.g., supply network planning) to the importance of source-to-pay suites to originate good source data.

A short post does not do justice to his time at the podium, but here are a few highlights and comments from his presentation and talk:

  • On what types of solutions matter most to create a strong procurement data foundation and better procurement results: “investment in systems capability, cleansed master data, spend analysis, contract management systems, risk metrics, supplier lifecycle systems.”
  • Expanding on the previous comment, observing what core data systems matter most: “[A] lack of a robust source-to-pay integrated solution is the biggest barrier to creating a data platform for procurement analytics.”
  • On the future of supply risk management: “Incident prediction and workflow management systems will replace supplier risk monitoring on projects and indirect spending.”
  • Observing the value of supplier management in new ways: “Post-award contract management (SRM) will become the biggest single source of sustainable cost reduction, and analytics will help managers drive the right level of supplier development and engagement activity.”
  • Commenting on the future of spend visibility: “Spend analytics will become real-time and predictive — not backward looking and probabilistic.”
  • Commenting on why applications matter for data: “Improved systems drive more reliable data that provides the basis for additional insights and engagement.”
  • Additional observations on the future of what’s coming next: “sentiment analysis in demand/supply planning to modify forecasts, predictive cost modeling using supplier-provided RFQs to highlight development opportunities, crowdsourcing of costs, supply chain risk analytics (e.g., Twitter chatter monitoring).”

My kudos go out to Dr. Handfield on a packed, pragmatic talk on the future of procurement, data and analytics, leveraging the best of academic thinking applied to the real world of procurement today.

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