The Innovation Category

The 3 Contract Management Concepts that Will Enable Digital Transformation

As we explored in the first part of this series, a successful digital transformation is defined by certain characteristics. These characteristics touch the core processes of the business, which means that driving a digital transformation requires changing the core systems of commerce as well. And there’s no better way to start reforming core business processes than taking a digital approach to managing your contracts. With the strategy clear, the next step to enabling digital transformation is to understand the key aspects of a digital contract lifecycle management (CLM)system. Knowing these three key concepts will get you up to speed, and putting them to work will create the business and technical foundations you need for a successful digital transformation.

SRM Provider Kodiak Rating to Develop Blockchain to Improve Supply Chain Transparency

blockchain

The Stockholm-based supplier relationship management provider Kodiak Rating announced that it will apply blockchain technology to improve supply chain transparency and traceability and to better manage supplier risk. Research and development will be supported by a 800,000 SEK grant (approximately $92,000) that was recently awarded to Kodiak Rating by Vinnova, a federal agency under Sweden’s Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation.

Achieving a Successful Robotic Process Automation Implementation: A Case Study of Vodafone and Celonis

Procurement organizations are beginning to catch on to robotic process automation (RPA) and the potential benefits that the technology can bring, which include cost reduction and more time for strategic, value-add activities. In fact, more than a third of procurement organizations are already piloting the technology, according to research from The Hackett Group. This was certainly the case for British multinational telecom corporation Vodafone, for which adoption of RPA quickly yielded results.

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Predictive Procurement: What Artificial Intelligence Promises to Purchasing

Social networks brought with them upheaval, by radically changing the way people and companies communicate with each other. With this we can see how a new technology has been able to change corporate practices, particularly in purchasing, by inducing a more collaborative approach in the supplier relationship. So, what about AI and robotization? Will these new digital technologies invest in purchasing? What results will such a transformation cause?

Study Finds Nascent Adoption of AI and Robotics in Retail and Manufacturing Supply Chains

Take a guess: How widespread is adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail and manufacturing supply chains? The answer is somewhat complicated. According to a recent survey from Eft, 46.1% of retailers and manufacturers report no usage of AI in their supply chain operations, but a significant percentage (33.4%) are using the technology in an experimental manner. Only 4% reported extensive usage on specific business processes or throughout the entire supply chain.

How Can Retailers Use Blockchain? New Deloitte Report Outlines 16 Use Cases

Last year, the value of the global counterfeit goods market was estimated to exceed $450 billion, an issue that blockchain solution providers such as Everledger and Blockverify have begun to tackle. The retail and consumer packaged goods industries particularly stand to benefit from implementing blockchain, a new Deloitte report argues. Blockchain would be able to tackle a number of supply chain challenges that these two industries face, from traceability and compliance to stakeholder management and flexibility in the face of risks and unexpected events.

Companies Are Investing in AI and Automation to Boost Talent Recruitment and Retention

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If you haven’t yet listened to the demo of the much-buzzed-about AI-powered Google Duplex, which can book your haircuts and make dinner reservations, certainly do so. The ambition is remarkable — can artificial intelligence really master the nuances of polite conversation? — even if the product does not completely deliver. (At times, Google Duplex sputtered and jumped jarringly between different speech cadences.)

Google’s developers confirmed that the human on the other end of the call would be informed that she or he is speaking to AI, which makes me wonder how social norms would change in a human-AI conversation. I thought of this when I came across Randstad Sourceright’s recent report showing that businesses are increasingly using AI to recruit skilled employees and address talent shortages, a well-reported challenge in the procurement sector.

Why Supply Chain Finance Could Be the Key to Widespread Blockchain Adoption

Organizations are emerging from the hype phase for the technology and instead starting to take stock of whether they have the technical expertise and talent to actually use blockchain. To do that, they’ll need to know not only where blockchain could be applied in the supply chain but how exactly it works. Only then can procurement organizations begin to assess whether they’ll be ready to take the next adoption step with the technology.

This is the objective of a new study by CAPS Research of Arizona State University. During a presentation Monday at ISM2018, Dale Rogers and Thomas Choi took attendees through a detailed tour of blockchain, from its origins as a descendant of ERP systems to potential ways procurement can spur adoption of the technology using supply chain finance.

Coupa Inspire Dispatch: Rob Bernshteyn on the Shift to Business Spend Management

Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa’s CEO, kicked off Inspire 2018 this morning with an hour-long speech that only he could pull off.

Rob’s talk zig-zagged between providing an overview that framed spending and buying in a new context (“business spend management”), providing a fly-by of Coupa’s suite on a high level, diving deep into products in specific areas, sharing what seemed like 100 screenshots of current and emerging capabilities (especially centered on community intelligence and user guidance) and ploughing through some 50+ facts and figures highlighting different areas of progress Coupa is making.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hotlist: May 2018 [Plus+]

Welcome to the fourth edition of Spend Matters’ monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to Plus and PRO subscribers.

Today, based on our own observations and our discussions with supply chain participants, change in the CW/S space (both its scope and pace) appears unprecedented; moreover, it may also be accelerating. The staffing industry of 10 years ago was mature, stable, highly concentrated and hardly innovative. But between then and now, much has been happening.

Change, up and down the supply chain, is being driven not only by enterprises beginning to require more effective solutions in the current environment but even more so by other external forces (e.g., new technology/solutions, workforce demographics and so on). While it is important to consider these external factors/sources, it is also important to watch how the core/traditional supply chain is responding to them. There is little, if any, disruption occurring, but there are many signs of assimilation, adaptation and, in some cases, innovation. For more on this, see our discussion, under the heading “Wildfire? Or Slow Burn?," in last month’s Hotlist.

Given the above, the past month did not disappoint, with developments in both the core/traditional category and the external/innovation category. We’ll start with developments in the first category and then proceed to those in the second.

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How Mid-Market Companies Can Benefit from Innovative AP Automation Solutions

Not all organizations are created equal. Far from it, in fact. Many mid-sized companies feel like they are getting overshadowed by large multinational enterprises when it comes to having access to purchasing solutions that meet their unique procure-to-pay (P2P) needs. We think that in 2018 that is about to change. 

Intelligent Procurement Requires Intelligent Procurement Solutions: Defining Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to Expect from Software Providers (Part 1) [PRO]

procurement technology

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll cover a few dozen of our AI-related functional requirements extracted from more than 400 requirements (and growing) in our current SolutionMap database, which we use to evaluate many dozens of providers. If you’re a practitioner, you can infuse these requirements into your ongoing provider selections and into your own in-house capability development (e.g., within an analytics CoE).

Of course, if you use the capabilities from our “palette” of requirements, you also can augment your own solution provider intelligence and create your own custom solution maps (based on data science rather than just analyst “magic”) to massively shrink your RFI cycle times and grow your provider intelligence to drive a much more effective and strategic provider selection process.

If you’re a procurement technology solutions provider who has gone through our SolutionMaps, you’re likely painfully aware of this level of detail that we get to, and we’d like to again thank you for your trip through our proverbial MRI. But if you haven’t “gotten on the map,” you’ll hopefully still find this very useful to benchmark against. (Contact us if you want to benchmark yourself against the “full monty” of requirements in your area — if you’re part of any modules within the source-to-pay market, or now services procurement, too.)