Procurement + Digital World = Fail: Making the Pub Debate Argument

Continuing on with my argument that procurement is doomed by 2025 from a pub debate in London earlier this month, my second argument centers on the notion that the cat is out of the bag in terms of the digital world. And procurement is not keeping up.

Consider the following areas where procurement is falling off the back of the peloton, despite the use of a number of performance enhancing substances such as purchase-to-pay solutions and advanced sourcing tools – the equivalent of technology EPO:

  • Mobile is computing. Let me repeat: mobile is computing. The notion of “bring your own device” to work is just the start. Ask yourself: are procurement organizations ready to embrace the mobile world in which every employee can buy and manage vendors through a simple tap on their phone (or simply having their phone or tablet in a given location)? I think not. With smartphone penetration well exceeding 50% of the global population by 2020, mobile is not just real – mobile is computing.
  • User interface expectations are changing and procurement is not moving quickly enough. Any organization with legacy Ariba, SAP, Oracle or other P2P systems on their employees desktops for buying – let alone 90% of the other direct procurement, P2P and VMS solutions in the market – is not confronting the reality that employees like to buy simply. And are already doing so in their personal lives
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) is replacing the need for expensive custom development and product extensions. And who needs IT for integration? With new smart PaaS systems, the application is taking on the role of basic procurement intelligence. For example, who needs procurement for contracting of an extension of on both the buy and sell sides can recommended clauses, structure and predictively point out risk elements as well as those risk elements.
  • Supplier directories such as the Thomas Industrial Register used to sit on the shelves of those in procurement – people called at least this one in particular “the big green book.” It made procurement a gatekeeper of sorts for supplier search. Now the big green book has been replaced by Google (which anyone can use) among other online search tools to find suppliers.

Face it. If you assume the argument that procurement is doomed, then technology clearly appears to be working against centralized sourcing, contracting and supplier management – that is, procurement.

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First Voice

  1. bitter and twisted:

    Meh, this is tail spend detail.

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