Change of Start Time for Coupa Webinar – Community Intelligence Is A Game-Changer

This is a final reminder for our webinar next Tuesday December 4th with Coupa, titled “Community Intelligence – A Procurement Revolution”(But please note that the time has changed to 3pm - UK time.)

Join us for the webinar (you can register here), and we’ll go through how Community Intelligence can work, what is available now, and what might be coming soon. I’ll be speaking along with John Callan from Coupa and there will be a chance to put questions to us as well.

We have written about Community Intelligence a few times previously, and featured the recent Coupa benchmarking report (see pic) which was an example of community intelligence in action. We also have a briefing paper on the topic which will be available after the webinar too -  and here is an extract from that  paper to whet your appetite.



The focus of this briefing paper is on how procurement functions and professionals can derive benefits for their organisations by using the power of the wider procurement community, allied to the latest technology and new tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Traditionally, the core procurement relationship has been based on a series of one-to-one links between a buyer and a seller. That has always been at the heart of procurement activity and thinking. In recent years, technology has introduced the concept of supplier networks, which means that certain tasks or processes become one-to-many or many-to-one.

While we will touch on supplier networks here, the concept of community intelligence goes well beyond that, looking as it does at how we can benefit from relationships across a wider network of buyers and buying organisations. We see that technology is now enabling much easier, more practical and successful ways in which multiple buyers can work together for mutual benefit.

Indeed, we see this as one of a relatively small number of truly transformational changes driven by digitisation in terms of how procurement activities will be carried out in major organisations over the next five years. By “transformational”, we mean it has the potential to change some of what we see as core and strategic elements of procurement, in areas such as identifying new or better suppliers, core process improvement, and strategic risk management. But it will also raise some tricky and deep questions for organisations, as we will see.

Why Is the Time Right for Community Intelligence?

Community intelligence in our context means organisations, procurement functions and people in particular, forming communities – which may be loose or tight, or anywhere in between – and using their combined knowledge, data, and power to mutual benefit in terms of procurement performance. That might mean cost reduction, improved internal processes (such as supplier acquisition and onboarding), better risk management, or other supply-related value opportunities.

But why now? Much of the opportunity, as with so many other innovations, is driven by the sheer increase in computing power in recent years and the resultant improvement in terms of what can be done through collecting and analysing data.  More organisations have better data, which is increasingly available in real time, and systems can pick that up and make use of it. So, for instance, we don’t have to wait weeks or months to collect and compare price benchmarking data.

New tools are also emerging, and in most of these developments, artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a vital role. For example, AI is undoubtedly going to play a role to address points mentioned earlier, such as seeking true commonality with other organisations or looking for patterns that might identify opportunities amongst a mass of benchmark data.

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