The last couple of years have been extremely challenging for procurement. Chief procurement officers (CPOs) have had to fight fires on multiple fronts, from mitigating supply chain challenges to dealing with increased prices and market volatility.
As we look ahead to 2023, it’s time for CPOs to start planning how to navigate a course out of the current economic turbulence. And of course, build strategies to make sourcing models more resilient and agile for whatever the new year has in store.
The solution according to many industry experts, is digitisation. Digital transformation is slowly rippling across the procurement sector, but not quickly enough. Investing in new technologies offers opportunities to future and shock-proof procurement, as well as solving many of today’s current problems.
Here are just a handful of the many benefits of digitising procurement:
1. Doing more with less
Automating many parts of the procurement process, especially repetitive tasks, can free up a significant amount of productive time. Your staff are released from the burden of data entry, and can focus their attentions on more critical, detail-oriented tasks.
Technologies such as machine learning, AI and predictive analytics can also help to streamline data analysis. This can help to make improvements across the board, from boosting productivity to reducing spend. And this can seriously pay off, according to SupplyChainBrain:
“When procurement moves to an inclusive, competitive and transparent sourcing model, it generates 60% to 70% productivity improvement, brings 30%-40% more spend under management, and delivers 10%-20% cost savings, which together leads to more than 20 times return on investment.”
2. Improving talent attraction and retention
When you use technology to handle repetitive manual tasks, you free up your staff to carry out higher value work. This can make procurement roles far more attractive from a recruitment perspective.
Staff are seen as far more than just “number crunchers” within the business. Instead, they become strategic partners to the wider business This can help to overhaul procurement’s image, transforming common perceptions of it as a back-office function and giving it a seat at the table when it comes to business strategy and board-level decision making.
3. Building resilience
Over the last two years, agility, flexibility and resilience have proved to be three of the most critical qualities any business or sector can possess. They’re necessary to weather unprecedented storms, such as Covid-19 to name an obvious example.
Deploying innovative digital technology can help procurement master data, delivering insights that can help to build resilience into sourcing processes. Once you have information, you can respond quickly and efficiently to unexpected challenges. And crucially, maintain a competitive edge when others in your sector are floundering.
Planning to hire in 2023, or searching or your next procurement role? Get in touch with our specialist recruiters here at Castlefield to start your search. Call us on 0113 212 4610 (Leeds) or 0161 638 8747 (Manchester).