Emptoris and the growing importance of ‘procurement technology’

I met up briefly with Kevin Potts, the US based VP of Marketing for Emptoris this week who was over in the UK visiting clients.  Their recent numbers look impressive, probably suggesting some market share gains and a more general feel that the US is emerging strongly from recession.  I plan to come back to some specifics of our conversation around emerging trends over the next few days.

But as a quick thought for this weekend, it struck me that appropriate use of technology is perhaps now THE biggest differentiator between great, good and poor performing procurement organisations.  I know that we talk about capability (in the people sense) a lot, but the fact is that fairly 'average' procurement people can achieve a great deal if they have the right information, tools and techniques.  Equally, a team of brilliant procurement folk will struggle if they have no spend visibility, no sourcing tools, no spend analytics, e-auction capability, or contract management data.

And related to that, I would also hypothesise that the gap between the best and the worst performers (at organisational level) is therefore greater than it has ever been.  The best can do so much more than anyone could 20 or even 10 years ago; the worst are still exactly where they were.  And it is technology that has driven this.

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