3 Game-Changing Trends in Procurement Technology
Procurement technology has evolved. From simple spreadsheets and online reverse auction tools a decade ago to the end-to-end platforms of today – procurement software is now more powerful, capable and efficient. However, with enterprises expecting their procurement teams to be more strategic, procurement executives would need software that not only automates and streamlines all sourcing and procurement processes, but also enables effective decision making.
Here are three game-changing trends in procurement technology that are driving the development of next-generation of procurement software.
1) Cloud Computing
Enterprises across the world are embracing cloud-based tools and software for the various advantages they offer over conventional software. Cloud-based procurement technology not only allows enterprises to save on infrastructure costs (installation, integration, operation and maintenance), but also offers the flexibility to scale according to business needs. Cloud procurement software also allows easy and better collaboration with suppliers and other stakeholders, improving efficiency and reducing cycle times.
2) Mobile Native
With increasingly mobile work and lifestyles, employees are demanding technology and tools that allow them to work from anywhere, anytime and on any device. In fact, a Citrix survey states that by 2020, nearly 90% of all large global organizations will offer app-enabled mobile work options to employees. A mobile-native procurement software, such as SMART by GEP, allows procurement executives to work on the go, providing all the information need for effective decision making. Besides providing real-time access to spend, savings, contracts and accounts payable information, mobile-enabled procurement software allows procurement pros to source suppliers, create and issue RFPs, manage eAuctions, create POs, initiate payments, and manage the entire source-to-pay cycle – anytime, anywhere on any device.
3) Big Data Analytics
As procurement transforms from a transactional facilitator to a strategic entity and a trusted business advisor, business analytics will play a crucial role. Big data analytics would allow procurement to get predictive insights, such as demand forecast, commodity price movements, supplier performance, among others. Procurement software, with built-in big data analytics tools and artificial intelligence capabilities would allow procurement professionals to proactively identify savings opportunities and minimize risks, by providing crucial insights and timely intelligence.
Enterprises who are looking to either invest in new procurement software or upgrade their current procurement technology must for a solution that leverages cloud technology, offers anytime, anywhere access to relevant information and comprehensive source-to-pay functionality on any device, and also provides cutting-edge business analytics capabilities to enable effective decision making.