By now, it’s probably beginning to dawn on most procurement people that sweeping change is on the horizon. A critical mass of emerging technologies is starting to coalesce, disrupting and reshaping industries from transportation to hospitality to manufacturing. There’s no such thing anymore as “business as usual.” And CPOs are having to confront the increasingly incontrovertible fact that the best-in-class procurement organizations are the ones that are embracing digital disruption and figuring out how to harness it to further their strategic, operational and financial objectives.
There is a name for this concept of embracing technology’s potential to remake the landscape as it applies to the procurement function. It’s called Digital Procurement Transformation. Under this new paradigm, technology serves as the driver for what is actually possible to accomplish and what the business outcomes will ultimately be. But technology on its own can’t accomplish anything. Digital procurement transformation may represent a future vision of the procurement function, but if CPOs are going to drive transformative, sustainable change, they need to think holistically. There are three critical elements, not just one, that need to be considered together and separately: people, process and technology.
True step change doesn’t come about just through technological upgrades. Although technology can now be said to be the main medium through which procurement is conducted, people and process still play a critical role. Technology may encompass how people work and what they’re able to do – but people are still required to get work done, and processes are required so that the organization can get from where it is to where it wants to be.
As a topic, digital procurement transformation could lend itself to endless discussion and debate. GEP decided to embark upon an organized exploration of the subject by creating, with Supply Management Insider, a three-part series focusing on each of the core elements of digital procurement transformation in turn. All three parts of the series, Digital Procurement Transformation 101, have just been published in GEP’s Knowledge Bank. We suggest that you start with Part 1: People – The Human Factor in the Momentum for Change. Then you can move on to Part 2: Process – The Path Toward a New Procurement Function, and Part 3: Technology – Embracing Innovation and Disruption to Achieve Step Change.
We’d love to know what you think about our comprehensive discussion of digital procurement transformation; feel free to leave comments below.