- Zycus' 2017 Pulse of Procurement report reveals procurement professionals are receiving greater attention and investment from the C-suite, PYMTS reported Tuesday. In fact, 38% of the 725 respondents said they were enjoying bigger budgets.
- However, procurement professionals are still struggling to meet "bullish" cost-saving targets. Professionals are increasingly turning to technology for help: over half of respondents had implemented a technology solution for diverse issues like spend analysis or supplier performance management.
- Yet satisfaction with such systems remains low, as a lack of communication between legacy systems create data silos, hampering the potential to analyze data. PYMNTS notes professionals would like systems that allow them to use data for strategic decisions, without the added step of having to gather and make sense of the data.
Procurement is particularly well-poised to profit from digitization, given its transaction and process-based nature, and corporations are taking note. Higher budgets to invest in new technology has brought industry adoption of software above 50%, but is it paying off?
Other articles suggest it will, eventually, but first the profession has to go through growing pains.
With cost-saving goals and limited budgets, many organizations invest in new technology independently. A company may start with electronic sourcing software, before moving to procure-to-pay systems, and upon further growth or needs, adopt project, contract and supplier management systems.
Yet, as such companies courted distinct providers, they created a new challenge: siloed systems creating more, incompatible data. Companies may install electronic data interchange (EDI) technology to help manage this data in a single platform, but the real challenge lay in a change to the nature of the job.
The challenge is hardly unique to procurement. While systems collect and deploy data, the inability to integrate it keeps supply chain managers not only from forecasting but also from assessing where they can best obtain the savings they're generally tasked with finding and implementing. This inefficiency is reportedly forcing technology vendors, including legacy ones, to embrace the need for flexibility and "Big Insights" over Big Data.
Fortunately, procurement and supply chain managers are anything but averse to adopting new technology. In fact, Zycus' report reveals 58% of respondents believe the future of procurement will be based on technology, rather than traditional tactics. Managers looking to reap the benefits of this change, however, must first note the shifting role of the professional, and gain the skills needed to grow with the times.