- The top three trends for procurement tech in 2018, according to Gartner's predictions report, are: AI, B2B marketplaces like Amazon Business and Alibaba's 1688.com, and chatbots, Supply Chain Quarterly reported.
- The report also speculates that legacy software systems are on the way out, and have "failed to deliver on [their] promise."
- The top trend to watch out for over the next five years is anticipated to be the integration of virtual assistants and chatbots into online procure-to-pay marketplaces.
AI and e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Alibaba are creating big, evolving trends for supply chains, but this new report suggests those trends are changing procurement as well. Gartner's predictions, if they play out in 2018, will have an acute effect on procurement and ripple throughout the supply chain.
Because companies are finding it easier to conduct some business via Amazon's and Alibaba's B2B marketplaces, an online marketplace could be an efficient way for procurement officers to handle tail-spend transactions, according to the report.
As procurement digitizes, it could create a butterfly effect on the e-commerce trend.
Amazon's Web Services are its main driver of revenue for the e-commerce giant, so as more procurement officers leave outdated software behind and switch over to more streamlined and efficient options, the result will be tighter competition for other software providers, cloud services, retailers and third-party sellers.
Furthermore, as procurement departments let go of old software systems and embrace AI-run systems, virtual assistants and chatbots, procurement departments will begin to streamline and automate purchases, there will be a shift in labor and talent demand for those roles.
AI and online marketplaces are no longer just buzzwords. As they are implemented, they have the potential to completely transform how companies do business and how supply chain networks operate.