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Digitalizing Procurement: the New Uses and Impacts of New Economic Models

Marketing, public relations, and sales have successfully incorporated digitalization, but the procurement sector still has much of this transition to do. Franck Le Tendre reflects on how digital is affecting the procurement sector, and more precisely on how new uses like mobility or social media have changed procurement and its place in businesses.
 

Procurement getting digitalized step-by-step

Dematerializing bids was one of the first places where Synertrade made it possible for procurement to move towards digitalization, almost eliminating paper. Establishing platforms for dematerialized communication puts these companies ahead of other business sectors. But that is not enough to mean procurement is digitalized.
 
For that, procurement must put the uses and models coming out of the Internet and eCommerce at the core of what it does. Right now buyers can spend 50-70% of their time on administrative tasks, checking purchasing requests or purchase orders and managing administrative disputes, which prevents them from engaging with their suppliers as much as they should.
 
Procurement departments found it hard to join the digital world, but they are now doing so in the knowledge that the trend is a fundamental change that is affecting all business areas. Slowly caught up by the dematerialization of jobs in accounting, procurement departments are part of a cross-company digitalization process. The importance of dematerialized, secure and traceable data becomes central. eProcurement software is evolving in this direction, offering the CPO tools that allow them to not only make work easier for their teams and improve productivity, but also to have simplified access to all the data (suppliers and spends) for more visibility, action levers and control.
 

Mobility at the core of new uses for buyers

Uses linked to mobility have been integrated into eProcurement software solutions because mobility is now a major advantage when it comes to a procurement team’s performance. Buyers should gradually move away from tasks that are too administrative to go out and work in the field. To engage with suppliers or seek innovation at trade fairs buyers must be able to leave the office while carrying out their everyday duties (approving contracts, purchasing requests, etc.). Thanks to the Internet this is now possible. Procurement applications now make it simple and fast to process an invoice, make a purchase request or monitor a contract on your mobile telephone, tablet or laptop.
 

Applying effective business models to procurement departments

“The social web is giving rise to new business models. By applying them to the world of procurement and focusing on adapted information systems and solutions we can help businesses to improve performance. The way our solutions continually adapt to changing economic models is what makes what we do so valuable,” said Franck Le Tendre, Managing Director of Synertrade.
 
Certain principles of participative economics, for example, are interesting for procurement departments. Digital solutions prompt the supplier and employees working with them to submit information, classify the supplier and generate “soft facts” for other business departments. We can even envisage a platform in the near future where suppliers will be rated directly by businesses. The ratings will provide other member businesses with strategic information for their own sourcing. Tools and functionalities like these will give procurement an even more strategic position in businesses.
 

Planning further ahead with new technologies

Artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms and “machine learning” will simplify the procurement department too, so that the employees involved no longer focus on anything but the most complex tasks and missions.
 
The software will soon indicate which is the most-ordered product from this or that supplier, according to user employee practices. It will be able to automate certain requests and orders in a personalised way, and we can imagine intelligent SRMs in the future.
 
Every day the Internet brings new technologies and uses. More than just the high quality of the strategic sourcing solutions designed by Synertrade, clients benefit from our capacity to seek out innovation. Businesses are often told to move into digital but it is not easy.  This is why, as well as designing solutions, Synertrade wants to provide businesses with simple uses that will allow our clients to move into the digital era in a natural way. “Our solutions are continually enriched to help our clients to digitalize their procurement department,” concluded Franck Le Tendre.

About the author

Franck Le Tendre

Franck Le Tendre – Western Europe EVP of Synertrade

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