It is interesting to realise that Digital Procurement doesn’t mean at all the same thing for everyone. Many are considering that using Sourcing & Procurement IT systems in the cloud is by essence the backbone of a digital Procurement strategy as it enables online interactions between suppliers and buyers and digital content creation.
If being in the cloud is absolutely essential, it is however very far from being enough. If you truly want to go digital, you need the right team to work out 4 critical ingredients:
- Data: tag & contextualize the right ones. Data is the fuel of Digital. Processing RFPs through Ariba or Coupa is indeed interesting as turning a paper manual process into a manual digital process but you can go a couple of step beyond: a) identify which data you need and can reuse to make the RFP process 80% prepared by a bot; b) enable tracking and storing all data your buyers need in their buying process such as their interactions with the suppliers; c) contextualize data – i.e. enrich data with context – so that a computer can derive “predictivity”.
- Users: Build or join a network. The more data and context you can access, better informed you will be. You need to build or join a network of user, who will produce and consume the data you need. This network shall go beyond the wall of your company and be founded on communities of users sharing same challenges : which are the best practices on this commodity; which are the best suppliers in this region, how is the delivery of this supplier etc…
- Artificial Intelligence: Innovate and Enable insight you needs. Data being the black gold of digital. If you are not creative about their usage, if you have no idea how to process those or what to do with them, you are simply out of the game.
- Open Technology: Make it Agile, IoT, mobile, open to developers and in the cloud. Technology shall remain the enabler. To face the challenges and speed of our future digital world, it has to be opened to the world, agile and evolutive within days, accessible from users anywhere, capturing data real-time and processing live big data from third parties.
If cost savings remains a top priority, no doubt talent acquisition becomes vital.