eProcurement 2018 Trends and Forecast – and Fixing the Tail!

Our colleagues at Spend Matters US last week published a very good series of articles as part of the PRO subscription service, looking at 2018 e-procurement trends. They covered both procurement organisation (demand) issues in Part 1  and technology provider trends - M&A and B2B/P2P intersections in Part 2.

The third part here examined three additional provider trends: “the new, resurgent role of B2B e-marketplaces such as Amazon Business; new and varying approaches to chasing tail spend, including e-marketplace models, and the early rise of embedded artificial intelligence (AI) in an e-procurement context. Finally, we conclude this three-part brief with our 2018 market sizing for e-procurement and a list of trends we see driving demand in the market”.

It is insightful as you would expect, and we were particularly interested in how the drive to manage tail spend better is helping the e-marketplace sector “with a vengeance” according to Jason Busch and his learned colleagues.

Obviously, you can’t access the full PRO articles unless you have a subscription (see here for more details), but in 2017, Spend Matters US also published a comprehensive research report on the current state of tail spend, Fix the Tail to Propel Procurement: Attacking the Tail Spend Problem in B2B”, which is free to download.

The study touches on various methods associated with “fixing” the tail, not just e-marketplaces but options such as purchasing cards and managed services offerings (like that provided by firms such as Simfoni).

While the need to address tail spend is not new (I remember launching initiatives in the early 1990s ...), the options are getting more interesting. In terms of future direction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also mentioned in that Spend Matters series, and there is no doubt that is going to influence many areas of procurement, and helping to automate tail spend, perhaps by helping direct budget holders to the “right” purchases with minimal or no human intervention, will certainly be one interesting area.

It’s well worth taking a look at that Spend Matters “Fix the Tail” paper; the chart below comes from it too.  And of course if you have any interest in procurement technology, and certainly if you spend a five-figure sum a year (or more) on it, you really should take a look at a PRO subscription too.

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