Technological Advancements in Procurement Process

15 - May - 2023

In today's fast-paced business landscape, technology is the key to unlocking greater productivity and operational efficiency. From finance to marketing to procurement, digital technology is transforming the way businesses operate, empowering teams with better control over their operations and driving success.

The era of digital procurement is here, and businesses that harness its power are gaining a significant competitive advantage. Embracing the latest procurement technologies can revolutionize business operations, driving efficiency, cost savings, and innovation.

It's time for businesses to unlock the full potential of technology and transform their procurement function for a brighter future.

Let’s explore how businesses can adopt the new technological advancements to streamline their procurement process. Give it a read!


What Changes are Occurring?

Modern technology has advanced particularly quickly in the area of procurement. The Global Procurement Software Market, according to the most recent market report, was estimated to be worth a staggering 4.7 billion USD in 2021 and was expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.17% to reach 10.2 billion USD by 2027.

The widespread use of e-procurement technology and the rising demand for automation of the procurement process are the forces behind this astounding growth. With the help of digital technology, the procurement function now has access to new capabilities that have improved strategic sourcing, vendor management, and the efficiency of procurement transactions. According to a Deloitte Study on Digital Procurement - New Capabilities from Digital Technologies, the procurement landscape is going through a significant transformation.

As businesses strive to optimize their procurement processes, they are increasingly turning to a diverse array of core procurement technology platforms, including e-Sourcing, e-Procurement, spend analytics, and contract management technologies. Among these, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based procurement technologies are gaining traction due to their agility and ease of deployment. This allows organizations to quickly adapt and thrive in today's fast-paced business landscape.


Which Digital Technologies Maturing

The digital revolution has come a long way, transforming our lives in countless ways. From how we communicate and conduct business to how we entertain ourselves, digital technologies have rapidly evolved and made their mark. However, like all innovations, they too have reached a new stage in their journey - the maturing phase.

Let's take a closer look at how digital technologies have grown and what this means for our ever-changing digital landscape by looking at their features.

Widespread Adoption

The global population has adopted digital technologies on a large scale, with billions of people connected through various devices. Social media platforms, e-commerce websites, and other digital services are widely used by people of all ages, backgrounds, and professions.

Stable Technological Standards

Technological standards and protocols that underpin digital technologies have largely stabilized, allowing for interoperability, consistency, and reliability in digital interactions. Established protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP are now used globally.

Consolidation of Industry Players

Digital technology's market has matured, with leading companies emerging in a number of fields. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple have made names for themselves as market leaders in internet shopping, search, social media, and smartphones and tablets, respectively. As a result of this consolidation, there is now more competition and government oversight in the digital sphere.

Evolution of Business Models

Business models around digital technologies have evolved from experimentation to more established models. Online advertising, subscription-based services, and e-commerce have matured and become significant sources of revenue for many digital businesses. Diverse monetization strategies have emerged, including freemium models, data-driven business models, and platform-based ecosystems.

Focus on User Experience and Security

With the maturing of digital technologies, there is a growing emphasis on improving user experience and ensuring security and privacy. User-centric design, seamless interfaces, and personalized experiences are becoming standard expectations. Cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy concerns have also gained prominence, leading to increased regulations and standards to safeguard users' interests.

Social and Ethical Considerations

As digital technologies have become more pervasive, there is an increasing awareness of their social and ethical implications. Issues such as online misinformation, cyberbullying, privacy breaches, and algorithmic bias are being debated and addressed by policymakers, businesses, and society.


What are Advancements in Procurement Technology

1. Analytics

Adopting analytics in procurement isn't just a statement; it's a crucial development in the practices' evolution. Long-standing issues with indecisive decision-making and stalled processes have plagued procurement teams. However, a survey of global CPOs by Deloitte found that analytics will revolutionize the procurement industry over the next two years. Over 40% of those who responded reported using analytics for optimizing costs, enhancement of processes, and management reporting, proving that they are quickly becoming an essential tool in the procurement process.

Analytics provide a creative way to address persistent issues, which organizations' procurement teams are being asked to do more of by management. Analytics offer useful insights that can spur organizational change, from getting rid of wasteful resource use to improving decision-making. Businesses must incorporate analytics into their ability to make choices and make it a core component of their operations instead of just a one-off project if they want to fully realize the possibilities of their procurement teams.

Procurement leaders can now use data-driven knowledge from procurement technology to demonstrate their impact, despite frequently struggling to show their value in strategic development. Analytics enable procurement leaders to present observable results and foster major shifts within their organizations. To remain ahead in today's competitive environment, procurement teams must embrace this evolution rather than treat it as a revolution.

2. 3D-Printing

The dawn of personalized products has arrived, and at the forefront of this revolution is 3D printing. As consumers increasingly seek products that cater to their unique preferences, and the demand for localized production and made-to-order items continues to grow, 3D printing is poised to transform the supply chain landscape. With remarkable advancements in materials and metal additive manufacturing technologies, coupled with more affordable hardware, supply chain players are making significant investments in 3D printing. This enables them to decentralize production and create products and parts in local assembly hubs, bringing production closer to the point of demand.

The benefits of localized 3D printing are manifold. It enables companies to drastically reduce logistics and transportation costs, minimize their carbon footprint, mitigate geopolitical risks and tariffs associated with offshore outsourcing, and deliver products to consumers with lightning speed - a compelling competitive advantage in today's fast-paced society that demands instant gratification. As the era of personalized products continues to gain momentum, 3D printing is undoubtedly taking center stage in the supply chain landscape.

While 3D printing is advancing rapidly and enabling the production of fully functional parts with superior characteristics, prototypes still hold their importance. With recent developments in materials, hardware, and AI-driven software design tools, businesses can now create parts that are not only lighter and more effective but also generate less material waste compared to conventional manufacturing techniques. It has caught the attention of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), dealers, and other supply chain participants, as the ability to produce parts and products on demand is revolutionizing the entire process of goods creation, production, and delivery in today's world.

3. Mobility

The world of procurement must adjust to this quickly accelerating trend as mobile phones have become a crucial component of our daily lives and are used for purposes other than just personal communication. Adopting mobile technologies is critical for effective procurement processes that can be accessed at any time, from any location, in today's fast-paced world.

The demand for mobile services is increasing as the percentage of millennials working increases. As a result of the rising expectations of stakeholders, studies show that nearly 42% of organizations are investing in mobile technologies to support their procurement activities. It is essential to incorporate mobility into your organization's procurement strategy. It is essential to take mobile-enabled services into account as a crucial feature when choosing a cloud vendor.

High adoption rates are essential for extracting maximum value from mobile service delivery, and this can only be achieved when your procurement app provides a rich and user-friendly experience. Stay ahead of the game by embracing mobile technologies in procurement and unlock the full potential of modern procurement practices.

4. Blockchain

In 2023, blockchain technology gained significant traction in procurement, bringing increased efficiency and security to the process. Businesses across industries realized the potential of blockchain to revolutionize procurement, and it became a hot topic among decision-makers.

Blockchain's unique distributed ledger system provides transparent and immutable record-keeping, eliminating intermediaries and reducing fraud risks. This transparency and security fostered trust in transactions, resulting in improved supply chain management and cost reduction.

Moreover, blockchain's ability to streamline and automate complex workflows through smart contracts brought further benefits to procurement. Automated processes for procurement requests, bids, contracts, and payments reduced errors and sped up decision-making, enhancing overall efficiency.

As businesses witnessed the advantages of blockchain in procurement, it transitioned from a "good-to-have" to a "must-have" technology. Organizations realized that incorporating blockchain in procurement practices could offer a competitive edge by ensuring transparency, security, and efficiency in supply chain operations.

Looking ahead, blockchain is expected to continue gaining momentum in procurement as businesses prioritize data security and digital transformation. The adoption of blockchain is likely to become a standard procurement practice, and companies that do not embrace this technology may face challenges in supply chain management and risk falling behind competitors.

5. Cyber Security

Procurement officers are awakening to the pivotal role of cybersecurity in their digital transformation strategies. As technology increasingly drives procurement processes, safeguarding against tampering, damage, and corruption has become a pressing imperative.

In today's digital landscape, procurement officers are harnessing technologies like e-procurement platforms, vendor management systems, and supply chain automation tools for streamlined processes and enhanced efficiency. While these technologies offer benefits like cost savings and improved transparency, they also introduce vulnerabilities to cyber threats like data breaches, ransomware attacks, and supply chain disruptions.

Procurement officers now realize that cybersecurity is not just an IT concern, but a crucial part of their overall procurement strategy. Traditional procurement practices are no longer enough; securing technology systems and data is paramount.

To ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of procurement systems and data, procurement officers are implementing robust cybersecurity measures such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, security audits, and employee training programs. They actively collaborate with IT departments, cybersecurity experts, and vendors to identify and address vulnerabilities while staying updated with the latest security best practices and technologies.

Procurement officers also recognize the significance of supply chain cybersecurity due to the interconnected nature of supply chains. They implement measures to assess the cybersecurity posture of suppliers, partners, and third-party vendors, and incorporate cybersecurity clauses in contracts and agreements to ensure compliance with security standards and protocols.

6. Cloud-Based Technologies

The adoption of cloud-based technologies is now a critical requirement for organizations to harness the valuable insights offered by Big Data. Cloud technologies have revolutionized the procurement function by decentralizing it, making it more scalable and easily integrated into various aspects of the organization's operations. With the help of cloud technologies, the procurement function can now seamlessly integrate with other key functions such as accounting, customer service, and production software.

Using Big Data insights and the procurement function effectively can result in significant savings in expenses, improved relationships with suppliers, and increased operational efficiency. When it comes to handling the enormous amount of data generated by procurement activities, cloud-based technologies have emerged as a game-changer by offering a scalable and flexible solution.

Decentralization, one of the main benefits of cloud technologies, enables the purchasing department to access and evaluate data whenever they want, from any location, on any device with a link to the internet. With this flexibility, procurement professionals can make decisions based on information in real time, which leads to more efficient and accurate procurement procedures. Additionally, the scalability offered by cloud technologies enables businesses to manage massive data volumes and expand without sacrificing performance.

Integration is another crucial aspect of cloud technologies in procurement. Cloud-based procurement solutions can be seamlessly integrated with other essential functions of the organization, such as accounting, customer service, and production software. This integration enables procurement teams to share data and insights across departments, leading to improved collaboration and coordination, and ultimately enhancing the overall organizational efficiency.

7. Digital Procurement

As the business landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, organizations are increasingly realizing the pivotal role of digital transformation in achieving success. Among the various areas that can yield immediate and tangible benefits, procurement stands out. Companies are swiftly adopting state-of-the-art digital tools and technologies to streamline their procurement functions, spanning the entire procure-to-pay cycle.

Embracing the digital revolution will enable procurement teams to free themselves from menial tasks and shift their attention to high-impact, value-driven activities. The automation of procurement procedures removes inefficiencies and time-consuming tasks, allowing for a more effective and efficient procurement procedure.

This digital transformation allows procurement teams to optimize their operations, enhance productivity, and drive strategic value for their organizations. Embrace the power of digital tools in procurement and unlock new possibilities for success in today's fast-paced business world.


Steps to Take!

Experience the transformative power of BusinessBid and unleash the full potential of your procurement process. From purchase requisitions to vendor management, invoice management, and beyond, BusinessBid offers a comprehensive suite of procurement solutions.

What sets it apart is its robust analytics tools and seamless integration with other essential tools like accounting systems, ERP, and finance software, empowering your procurement team like never before. Don't settle for anything average in procurement.

Elevate your operations with BusinessBid and unlock a new level of efficiency and effectiveness in your procurement process. Don't just take our word for it - experience the power and simplicity of BusinessBid for yourself.

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