5 Trends Affecting Procurement Professionals
Changes in working practices and processes affect specialists in all sectors, and procurement is no different. Emerging trends transform procurement considerably, altering the way in which you work.
As a procurement professional, you know you have to stay on top of the latest trends to avoid falling behind. With that in mind, what are the latest trends, and how do they impact today’s procurement professionals?
AI Paves the Way Forward
AI is becoming bigger and bigger in even the smallest areas of life, and procurement professionals will see this expand in their sector. Businesses will embrace big data and AI to maximize their processes and keep supply chains running as smoothly as possible.
Businesses, customers, and suppliers expect results with a minimum of delay. Machine-learning algorithms will continually enable businesses to cut out mundane administrative tasks and streamline their processes, freeing their teams up to focus on other areas.
Greater Emphasis on Globalisation
As the internet keeps making the world smaller, globalisation is consistently easier (and more financially-viable).
Companies will be encouraged to consider sourcing products from around the world rather than exclusively local suppliers; while shipment carries a cost, the base manufacture of various products varies.
Businesses may save money by investing in suppliers with lower production costs and smaller overheads, even when taking international shipping into account. Product-manufacturers based in less-developed regions will benefit from globalised procurement too, as their lower rates can provide greater value than bigger, more expensive companies.
Cloud-based software makes managing global transportation and communications easier than ever. Brands can upload delivery data on the fly, monitor shipments, collaborate on documents, and much more wherever they’re based.
A More Transparent Service
For businesses, social media has transformed customer service and accountability forever. While companies may one day have avoided individual demands for explanations or complaints, today this is impossible on social channels: other users can see when criticisms are made when questions are asked, and more.
For any business to let these go unanswered or unresolved is a big mistake, as potentially thousands (or millions) of other prospects will see it.
With this in mind, procurement processes will continue to alter in an age where transparency is in greater demand: professionals can check potential suppliers’ social feeds for an idea of their ethics, their dedication to customers, and target demographic.
The Millennial Mindset
Millennials will continue to be a major presence in the workforce, and they will bring a new approach to procurement.
Millennials are well-informed on sustainability, the economy, and the ethics of business. It’s easier for information on businesses’ supply choices and investments to leak than ever, and if customers and affiliates discover an unethical organisation or brand has been involved in the supply chain, it can have a significant negative impact.
Millennials’ awareness of the importance of sustainability, fair trade, and social issues will bring a valuable fresh mindset to the procurement sector. As a result, organisations will face less risk of becoming involved with questionable businesses or attracting negative attention through poor choices.
Planning Around Demand
In the past, procurement may have been more focused on planning around a supplier’s production capacity and ability to distribute in a timely manner. Now, though, there’s a greater emphasis on the consumer at the end of the supply chain.
As a result, planning and purchasing look more closely at demand and purchasing with this in mind (rather than investing in far more products than needed). Costs can, therefore, be reduced, and supply can be met in a streamlined way without products bought in bulk sitting in a warehouse somewhere.