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Procurement expert….2018 alone?


Procurement expert….2018 alone?

As you would expect there is a myriad of predictions for the coming year. Some that we find truly interesting and inspiring such as the article on “Procurement : it is all about speed in 2018” by Guy Strafford or “Procurement Predictions for 2018” by Francis Churchill both in Supply Management. Their points are resonating a lot with points we find in Decision Achats in France and Beschaffung aktuell in Germany namely:

· No time for cumbersome procurement processes (the buzz word really seems to be “agility” for procurement in 2018)

· Technology will drive the transformation

So where does that leave most of you guys, with your deep category knowledge built over many years?

For the last 5/10 years, we have been seeing a developing trend of relationship managers-buyers, in tune with their organization, with the ability to manage cross-functional project teams, but even if you have been part of this trend you hold on to your deep knowledge allowing you to always master your subject.

But what would happen tomorrow, if big projects disappear and the trick is to become nimble in many different subjects as Guy predicts?

At Enabling Procurement we predict a bright future to those who will embrace the coming technology transformation. Look at it from our point of view : you, as many million experts across the globe, have built an incredible knowledge base. If someone asks you to name the top 10 suppliers in your category of expertise, you can do that in a flash, where as it will take months of RFI, evaluation and meetings to a novice to achieve half of what you did.

The trick is to be agile AND knowledgeable at the same time. This is not a new problem in 2018 but certainly one that becomes more and more acute in cash-constrained businesses. This, we think, is where technology will be playing its part in spreading human expertise.

Forget AI, forget machine learning, the knowledge is there in millions of heads, and to achieve agility, technology will connect all this knowledge. And I know it will be happening because we are working on it.