CPOstrategy INSIGHT panel: Digital procurement, a decade of transformation

CPOstrategy INSIGHT panel: Digital procurement, a decade of transformation

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What kinds of transformation has Procurement experienced over the last decade? What’s in store regarding Digital Procurement’s transformation?

CPOstrategy held a recent distinguishable panel discussion with various leaders from the world of digital, data, procurement and online security.

The panel featured Cynthia Figge (CEO, CSR Hub), Aleksandr Yampolskiy (CEO, SecurityScorecard), Ilya Levtov (CEO & Co-founder, Craft.co) and ProcureTech’s very own CEO & Founder, Lance Younger.

The intense session was packed with information and eye-opening facts into how procurement has transformed over the past decade, with more changes expected around the corner. The panel answered some interesting questions from host Andrew Woods regarding Procurement, with a chance for them to reflect on the function’s past and consider what exciting things lie ahead. So what did the panel have to say? Here are just some of the questions covered…

How does procurement differ now compared to 5-10 years ago?

Data acts is a key element for Procurement.

There is more of a need for more and better data. Transparency and disclosure has been accelerated by recent events thus increasing the volume of information available to us. There is no doubt that standards and regulatory changes will improve.

Organizations are struggling to keep up with changes in data access and data proliferation. It’s not because of the technology – it’s the people. There are not enough people with the right number of skills to help transform the pace in procurement which we would all love to happen. It’s not a new problem; it’s existed for the last 8-10 years and is one of the biggest problems which will limit how quickly procurement can transform ourselves.
Lance Younger, ProcureTech

Demand sky-rocketed on the high demand that was already there at the start of Covid as more progressive enterprises recognised they were already at risk.

This was then exacerbated such as the Suez Canal disruption, the Solarwinds supply chain and cyber hacks – MAERSK and Target are only a couple of examples of some that are yet to be revealed.

Procurement teams are realising there is more data available which has been accelerated by global shocks and shone a bright spotlight on the risks and challenges in globally interconnected supply chains.
Ilya Levtov, Craft.co

The media’s focus has made everyone more aware – these issues were probably just as big 5 years ago, but the awareness has certainly increased.

The Digital Supply Chain Institute has helped play a part with raising awareness in the media and bringing us all together.

The world has become more complex and so have we – we have become much more interconnected as a result of Big Data, Analytics capabilities and IoT (internet of things) devices in our homes and everywhere else. Access to data allows companies to battle exponential complexities to make faster, smarter and safer decisions which ultimately have an impact on their supply chains and procurement functions.

The key is not to have more data, but less data that is more actionable that tells us what needs to happen. Our world is full of turbulence and complexities – you can’t fight it. It’s only going to get bigger. We have to make more proactive decisions.
Aleksandr Yampolskiy, SecurityScorecard
What challenges does Procurement face?

The panel covered an array of challenges, agreeing that the list was very vast.

There is an increasing challenge of supply chain transparency and the issue of dark data, where smaller suppliers do not reveal much about how they are performing, therefore collecting such data can be challenging.

Simplicity is imperative, as well as experimentation and curiosity – you won’t always get the right answer, so companies need to embrace working together. It is not an overnight fix: different data sets and models and 3rd parties may be required to reach those answers.

Is there more risk in supply chain now than ever before?

Yes. The panel agreed.

From cyber security perspectives, there is more risk now than ever: information is digitized, IoT are connected to networks, attackers have more access to sophisticated weaponry and niche skills have been commoditised.

Most organizations don’t know where to start and forget the basics, therefore putting their supply chain at risk.

How does procurement prioritise the right kind of data and how does it maximise its impact in terms of sustainability?
The scrutiny and responsibility of looking at the social and environmental impact of the business is going to make the management of procurement very integral to addressing and solving social problems and improving business performance
Cynthia Figge, CSR Hub
  • Where and how do we start?
  • How do companies recognise risk and understand the data?
  • How do we integrate this with other types of data? eg partnership
  • ESG – how do we integrate that?

These are just some of the questions the panel covered which Procurement teams should prioritise, along with trust and authenticity.

Procurement has become so much more strategic, as the function is now asking its suppliers for more information such as diversity of the Board and Management team etc, as these act as key indicators of supplier performance. These metrics have shifted and demand for this data will continue to increase.

This panel is great for those interested in gaining an insight into how they can learn and improve their Procurement function. Maybe you have your own experiences and can relate?

Interested? Want to hear more?

Check out the panel discussion here.


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