The Innovation Category

‘Appy Procurement: Applying the AI-Powered Customization of B2C Apps to B2B Procurement Technology

on-demand workforce

“There’s an app for that!” Well, of course there is. These days, there are apps for nearly everything in the B2C sphere. And B2B, including procurement technology, is gradually catching up. Solution providers are using artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies to make procurement “smarter” and more relevant to users. Last week, Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, and Paul Blake, senior manager of technology product marketing at GEP, held a webinar on this trend, appropriately titled “There’s an App for That: Procurement Gets Smarter.”

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Driving Sustainability and Compliance (Part 2): The Power of Social Media Voices in the Supply Chain

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This post is the second in a three-part series. Click here to read Part 1.

Social media gives voice to anyone looking for a platform: consumers and corporates, individuals and organizations. By enabling the democratization of instant worldwide communications, services such as Facebook and Twitter have created an overwhelming volume of unstructured data in a short period of time. While the development of social media voices is dynamic and continues to evolve without pause, businesses have yet to tap into its true power. What happens to these spontaneously created bits of data? Who is listening? Is there actionable value in the voices?

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — But New Models Have Arrived

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, traditional models of workforce engagement continue to dominate and constrain organizations’ access to the talent they need. To break through this barrier, organizations must embrace and support innovation — doing new things. Increasingly, the place to turn for talent, growth and innovation exists outside of the four walls of the enterprise, and goes beyond traditional categories of consulting and contingent labor. This is especially true when it comes to tapping into specialized skills and expertise, many of which are required only for a limited time in targeted projects. But the landscape of new solutions is evolving rapidly. To see how, we provide some examples of different types of innovative human capital sourcing and discuss how procurement can use these tools to drive innovation and long-term growth.

How Procurement Can Deliver the Benefits of the High-End Gig Economy — Innovation

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Access to highly skilled, specialized talent is becoming a serious challenge for most enterprises. Overcoming this challenge begins with recognizing that a new model for sourcing and engaging this talent is emerging. But organizational adoption of these models is not as simple as a adding a new supplier, bringing up a new VMS or setting up an MSP or internally managed program. It is really a process of organizational change and innovation.

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AI, Machine Learning and What They Really Mean for Procurement and Contracts

Your contracts. Even though they govern all of your supplier relationships and deal with huge sums of money, they’re error-prone and are in dire need of meaningful controls. Procurement solutions don’t encompass contract management, and technology-enabled as they may make you may feel (especially compared with what you had only a couple years ago), leave you with the manual, administrative tasks that keep you from more meaningful work. Machine learning (ML) can automate those tasks, and use your contract data to deliver insights that will create tremendous opportunities for increased profit, efficiency, savings and accelerated growth without you lifting a finger.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and the Cloud

At Zycus Horizon, I participated in two panel discussions, one as a “pinch hitter” and the other with some up-front planning. One centered on the impact of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence on the future of procurement technology and the procurement function, while also tying in cloud, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT) and other disruptive technology areas. The other panel touched on these topics but emphasized the future of the user experience in procurement technology.

Can Procurement Save the Government?

Think about the role of effective government: defend the nation from risks and support the citizens, with minimum tax burden. And in a capitalist society that is of, by and for the people, the government needs to tap market innovations of the same people it serves to solve big problems, be it national security, healthcare or recovery from disasters. The same is true in commercial enterprises. Procurement in companies is chartered with bringing in innovations and helping defend the enterprise from external risks in the supply chain while also helping maximize value to demanding stakeholders.

Is Artificial Intelligence in Procurement Mostly Just Overblown Marketing Hype? Basware’s Eric Wilson Weighs In

In Part 2 of our conversation with Eric Wilson, VP of P2P at Basware, we touched on the inherent risks of computers making decisions that have historically been reserved for humans. While it may not seem as life or death in procurement as it is in the case of, say, autonomously driven Uber-Volvos being involved in rollover accidents, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to massaging out the kinks. How much work, exactly? Are we in the full throes of the revolution, or in the eye of the storm? Enough with the metaphors — here’s the final installment of our conversation with Wilson.

Data as the ‘Alpha and the Omega’ of Artificial Intelligence: Basware’s Eric Wilson Makes the Case

Spend Matters’ digital pages are no strangers to coverage of big data and artificial intelligence as they pertain to procurement over the past couple years. But while the exact degree of interplay between the two may be up for debate, what’s not is that data and AI are still the hot topic of the moment. Eric Wilson, vice president of P2P at Basware, will be taking up that very topic at an upcoming conference this week, and we got the chance to catch up with Wilson for his point of view on two of the biggest buzz-phrases in digital technology.

How Applying an Ecosystem Approach Can Spur Contingent Workforce Innovation

There are numerous factors today that have led many procurement professionals to view non-employee workers as just another resource delivered through a supply chain. Both buyers and suppliers of work contract with each other for specified outputs, with projects and cash moving in a transactional manner. While this can keep work on track and costs contained, such an approach leaves little room for innovation — a competitive necessity in today’s digital economy. The answer to this disconnect is to reconceive contingent workforce programs as contingent workforce ecosystems.

How AI Will Help Procurement Advance Analytics Beyond Basic Spend Analysis

Leading procurement organizations today don’t just measure what they spent. They push their definition of spend analytics to encompass their total value contribution to the business, taking advantage of both conventional and newly accessible data sources to enable true supply analytics. How have they done this? While strong leadership and evolving best practices have played an important role, the simple answer is that analytics technology has finally advanced to the point where it can enable a supply analytics strategy. Key to this evolution is the rise of artificial intelligence within the enterprise.

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Here’s How Procurement Can Fix It

Businesses operating in today’s disruptive economy need innovative thinking and agile teams to meet rapidly changing customer demands. Yet standard models of workforce engagement remain antiquated and inflexible, limiting companies’ ability to respond to new opportunities. The ascendance of the knowledge economy and the explosion of new technology applications, however, have created new opportunities for organizations to rethink how mission-critical, highly skilled talent is sourced, managed and consumed. Accordingly, new models of workforce engagement have begun to emerge, allowing organizations to break free from their legacy processes and tap a new source of innovation for the enterprise.