What Are We Looking Forward To In The 2016 Procurement World? (Part 1)

Now we're all thoroughly back into the swing of things, it seems appropriate to take a look forward and anticipate some of the potential highlights of the year to come. So here are some reflections on a handful of key topics that we tend to cover regularly here.

Events

One area in which the procurement world has changed greatly for the better in recent years is in terms of the choice and quality of events available to the profession. Back in the mists of time, when I were just a lad, there was the CIPS annual event and ... well, that seemed to be about it really.

Now, we are spoilt for choice, with ProcureCon, Procurement Leaders, eWorld, various “summits” and exchanges, and similarly in the public sector with the GO events and many others. Then we have the software firms with their events – last year saw Trade Extensions, BravoSolution, Coupa, iValua, Ariba, Basware and many others, and no doubt 2016 will see a regular flow of good quality events.

That’s before we get on to the workshops, seminars, round-table discussions, dinners and breakfast. And all those brilliant awards evenings of course! So in 2016, we will personally be looking forward to our BravoSolution Real World Sourcing events again, but we are also excited about a new event focusing on procurement and supply chain technology, in Baltimore in March, and run by our colleagues at Spend Matters US along with ISM (the US-based Institute of Supply Management). We don’t expect too many folk to make it across the Atlantic, but if you’re into procurement tech, it might just be worth the trip; certainly it promises to be a landmark event. We'll have more on that shortly.

The issue for practitioners is choosing the best events, no-one could possibly get to all of them but equally if you are not planning to attend a single event in 2016 then there is something wrong with you or your organisation. Continuous professional development and all that. So we'll try and provide what information we can to help you maximise the benefit you can obtain from events.

 

Technology

Very simply, it is getting better, more useful and usable, and will continue to do so through 2016. What are we looking forward to this year? BravoSolution with their move to a full source to pay offering will provide another real threat to Ariba, already suffering as the Coupa machine gears up in Europe (and starts to go after the public sector too). Will we see some of the players who have created a bit of a stir with very B2C type products in the US - such as BuyerQuest – make a move this side of the pond, or will the home grown European firms like iValua, Synertrade and Wax Digital hold them off?

What about the firms whose share price dived in 2015 – this looks like a make or break year for Cloudbuy, SciQuest, Determine, and a few others. The dog-fight in eInvoicing and supply chain finance will continue although the growing market will help everyone – but will it be Tungsten, Taulia, Tradeshift or Basware who comes out on top? (Don’t rule out Coupa again, their recruitment of Markus Hornburg was significant). Will Ariba finally address their widely hated supplier fee model to counter falling market share? And what about the sleeping giant that is IBM? Sleeping no more in 2016 - or settling for a longer doze?

We'll be back with part 2 tomorrow as we look ahead to an exciting 2016...

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