CPOstrategy: Technology in Procurement with Lance Younger

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ProcureTech’s CEO Lance Younger joined CPOstrategy to discuss the current procurement technology landscape: what are his thoughts and what does the future look like?

As technology continues to evolve at an accelerated rate, with a global pandemic thrown into the mix, it is hardly surprising to see the increasing number of challenges set against procurement organizations, including digital leadership and the digital procurement landscape. It has become apparent that more digital solutions are needed to help leaders and their organization to become more agile and adopt mobile, social and inclusive ways of working. More modern digital procurement solutions exist and go beyond core capabilities to provide a deep, worthwhile user experience and functionality.

How can these challenges be overcome?

  1. Don’t dive straight in head first: identify the problem! Doing so helps create a stronger business case and return on investment, which is something companies cannot afford in a world concentrated on the competition.
  2. Create new alliances and adopt agile ways of working across business functions. The technology procurement ecosystem comprises of software, technology and data providers; consultants; outsourcing partners and vendors, altogether, they help to accelerate business transformations, all depending on the size of the business, shape of evolution, the pace of change and overall ambition.
  3. Create frictionless channels between vendors and buyers.  Procurement teams that are reducing barriers are the ones focusing on maximising the input and impact of technology providers. 

What do we need to look for in a digital procurement vendor?

  1. The triple bottom line of social, economic and environmental impact. Increasing attention is being brought to the world of sustainability and diversity, where there lies an opportunity for companies to have a positive impact on the way the whole supply chain works and helps the environment.
  2. Vendor’s leadership, culture and mindset. It’s easy to get caught up in a vendor’s promise to solve all of your problems, yet they will each have their own expertise. By identifying with their leadership, culture and mindset it makes working together to create better solutions easier.
  3. Understanding and shaping the overall business.  Vendor’s need to understand the overall business and digital procurement strategy, operating model and roadmap, along with relationships: they shift over time as technology evolves.

What are the implications?

Amidst the accelerated pace of technology change, over 60% of companies are looking to change their digital procurement solutions, it is clear the need to select the right vendor can be improved.

‘Technology evolves and so does procurement’

The pandemic has affected procurement and vendor relationship models, resulting in shifts in trade, climate, diversity, inclusion – trends and activities that were going to happen eventually, have been accelerated. COVID has accentuated the need for collaboration, speed and scale within the way organizations work with and approach vendors.

Exciting times lie ahead for digital procurement leaders to disrupt procurement.

To read Lance‘s feature in CPOstrategy, check it out here.

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