Procurement Activities for the Long Hot Summer – How’s Your Technology?

Picture number: COM/B911217 Description: Wrens operating the 'Colossus' computer, 1943. Colossus was the world's first electronic programmable computer, at Bletchley Park in Bedfordshire. Bletchley Park was the British forces' intelligence centre during WWII, and is where cryptographers deciphered top-secret military communiques between Hitler and his armed forces. The communiques were encrypted in the Lorenz code which the Germans considered unbreakable, but the codebreakers at Bletchley cracked the code with the help of Colossus, and so aided the Allies' victory. Credit: Bletchley Park Trust/Science & Society Picture Library All images reproduced must have the correct credit line. Clients who do not print a credit, or who print an incorrect credit, are charged a 100% surcharge on top of the relevant reproduction fee. Storage of this image in digital archives is not permitted. For further information contact the Science & Society Picture Library on (+44) 207 942 4400.

We said last week that we would take a look at some of the activities to keep procurement practitioners busy if you’re stuck in the office through the long, hot (?) summer. As there are fewer meetings, conferences or other external events to occupy your time in August, it is a good period to catch up on things that sometimes get squeezed down the priority list at other times of the year. Use the opportunity wisely, and get on the front foot ready for the autumn.

Today, let's look at technology. Procurement related tech covers four main areas -

- purchase to pay
- sourcing and decision support
- supplier information, performance and risk management
- spend and contract visibility/ analytics

You can argue about the precise definitions, there are overlaps and intersections, but that's not a bad way to look at the different areas. For many organisations, this is no longer about buying a solution for the first time - certainly the majority of large organisations will already have solutions in those different areas. What is interesting now, and worth considering during those long hot afternoons, is whether the time is right for looking again at the market and what is available.

Every organisation's situation is different, but increasingly we see people wanting to upgrade their current tech portfolio, and take advantage of better products available now. That may mean moving to cloud based solutions, but it almost always means getting tools that are easier to use, more intuitive, flexible and friendly - whether that is P2P, sourcing, analytics or whatever. Social media thinking and approaches are infiltrating other B2B software in terms of design and feel; it all means not only are the products more powerful, they are genuinely quicker and easier to implement and use.

So do a bit of research, read Spend Matters tech articles, take a look at some supplier websites, maybe even ask for a demo or two (if you can find a supplier marketing person still in the office!) Perhaps get your name on the list for the odd supplier event or two (see yesterday's article).

Technology is a huge differentiator now between the best procurement organisations and the less effective. Do take a bit of time to consider where you are on that curve and how you might move up it after the summer!

Share on Procurious

First Voice

  1. Anya @ Market Dojo:

    great article. Always important to keep an eye on what technology is out there to stay up to date.

    I’m a ‘supplier marketing person’ at Market Dojo and would be more than happy to demo to anyone who is looking to revamp their eSourcing tool!

    Thanks for another great article Peter! (Hopefully catch up with you at eWorld!)


Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.