Webinar Notes: The Future of Procurement Technology: Portable, Powerful, Pivotal

Webinar Notes: The Future of Procurement Technology:  Portable, Powerful, Pivotal

This week’s webinar notes are from a July 25th webinar hosted by the Next Level Purchasing Association and presented by Santosh Nair, GEP’s Vice President of Client Services and Innovation. Although the on demand version is only available to NLPA premium members, you can read what they had to say about SMART by GEP in this recent blog post.

Despite the changes being seen in the consumer technology marketplace, enterprise solutions have been slow to take advantage of the growing availability of mobile technology. As demand increases for Smartphone and tablet solution accessibility, enterprise solutions in general, and procurement solutions in specific, will need to change at a rate faster than they have in the past.

Being a large solution provider is no longer the advantage it used to be. Instead, companies are trying to work like their smaller entry-level competitors (or the earlier version of themselves) in order to reap the benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset.

The procurement domain is as subject to disruptive technology as any other. These disruptions are likely to come from four main sources:

  • Social technology for knowledge sharing and collaboration
  • Mobile technology for enterprise use – companies are learning that solutions can be both accessible and best in class
  • Big data allows us to pull value from every transaction record to understand current and historical spend activity and to support predictive analytics
  • Cloud hosting has lowered the cost of procurement solutions by completely changing the relevant economics

Procurement is stuck in old technology, and is not embracing mobile and social capabilities proactively, despite the potential improvements to cost and adoption.

According to Nair, the current state of procurement technology includes:

  • An expectation that it is possible to classify 80% of spend to at least the third level of UNSPSC
  • The desire to increase and improve the use of eSourcing, including category specific sourcing processes
  • Increased collaboration and knowledge management
  • Layering of P2P solutions on top of ERP that include both catalog management and improved compliance
  • Automated supplier information management

But despite the fact that these performance levels are perceived by many to be best in class, Nair believes it is not good enough, as it leaves several gaps that lead to diminished performance and lost opportunities:

  • ERP systems remain too expensive in addition to being overly taxing to implement and having questionable ROI
  • Smaller solutions are too modular to provide platform level benefits and return
  • Some mobile offerings are simply repackaged web solutions, resulting in a loss of adoption and usability

Has your procurement organization embraced the use of mobile and/or social technology? What disruptive forces do you anticipate? Join the conversation by commenting below or on Twitter: @BuyersMeetPoint.


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