April 24, 2023 | Procurement Software
Let’s face it. No one can accurately predict how generative AI tools such as ChatGPT will play out. At the outset, it may seem, and correctly so, that the rewards of adopting generative AI outweigh the risks, but only with strong guardrails in place.
As for harnessing the power of ChatGPT in the procurement process, there is a definite promise of achieving enhanced efficiency and reduced costs.
By automating routine tasks, generating data-driven insights and fostering collaboration, ChatGPT can help procurement teams focus on strategic decision-making and long-term value creation. As an advanced language model, it can aid procurement professionals in supplier communication, risk assessment and data analysis.
The goal should be to learn about and take advantage of the possibilities this new technology has brought forth and safeguard against potential risks and biases.
It is crucial for procurement teams to understand category trends and pricing. Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can analyze vast amounts of data and provide insights on market fluctuations and searching for new suppliers, products and capabilities to help secure better deals.
ChatGPT can create proper drafts and serve up first cuts of tasks such drafting RFPs, SOWs and other contracts besides aggregating and classifying spend data according to UNSPC taxonomy. It can also cleanse and analyze spend data.
ChatGPT can be used to analyze inventory across the supply chain network and check for risks of stockouts based on stock levels and consumption rate scenarios. Procurement can also use it to strengthen supplier/supply market risk monitoring.
ChatGPT can process and analyze vast amounts of historical data to identify trends and patterns, enabling procurement teams to make data-driven forecasts. By utilizing predictive analytics, organizations can anticipate demand, optimize inventory levels and manage their supply chain more effectively. This approach helps businesses minimize disruptions, reduce costs and maintain a steady flow of goods and services.
Generative AI tools can help bridge communication gaps between procurement teams and suppliers. By using AI to draft emails, facilitate negotiations and clarify requirements, procurement professionals can improve efficiency and foster better relationships with suppliers.
Generative AI tools can simplify the purchase order creation process by automatically generating accurate and detailed purchase orders based on predefined templates. This reduces errors and accelerates the procurement process, benefiting both buyers and suppliers.
Risk management is a critical aspect of procurement. By using AI to analyze supplier performance, financial stability and compliance, procurement teams can identify potential risks and take mitigating actions. AI-driven risk assessment enables procurement professionals to make more data-driven decisions and minimize risks.
Generative AI tools can improve supplier performance tracking by automating data collection and analysis. This enables procurement teams to quickly identify issues and address them, ensuring optimal supplier performance and fostering continuous improvement.
To counter the risks from using generative AI tools, procurement leaders should set up protocols that guide their teams on how to use these tools responsibly.
These will ensure direct output from these tools are not used without proper vetting.
Copyright infringements by generative AI is becoming an issue. To avoid such a situation, choose internal-use-only test cases to generative AI output that is published or used beyond the enterprise.
The risk of social bias — and outright errors — in the content that AI generates must be strictly managed. Now is not the time to rush to hardwire AI-generated outputs into your core business process flows. Procurement should consider outputs from ChatGPT as hypotheses that are useful once cross-checked, but fraught with risks if not checked properly.
ChatGPT is powerful and its value is tangible. Procurement and supply chain leaders should begin the process of discovery and testing immediately and put sensible controls in place so that the anecdotes from ChatGPT are not about them.
Learn more about the potential of ChatGPT in procurement in our bulletin.