Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence & Co.
From April to June 2020, the Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME), in collaboration with the ESB Business School and Onventis, studied the status quo of digitalization and the use of new technologies in procurement in medium-sized businesses. The results should support procurement managers in future proofing B2B procurement.
The status quo of digitalization in purchasing in medium-sized companies remains unsatisfactory. Almost nothing has changed since 2019. The use of e-procurement systems is still insufficient. But it is precisely these digital systems, combined with other new technologies, that make the competitive difference for medium-sized companies today. Added to that are the business risks and loss of revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – procurement plays a vital role in the managing these challenges. A prerequisite for successful recovery from the crisis is a strong digital and future-oriented positioning for procurement.
Seven Megatrends for Purchasing in the Future
Businesses that do not continue to evolve and that are not able to respond with agility to challenging situations lose competitive advantage. And the same thing applies to procurement. This makes it more important than ever to identify, evaluate, and implement current trends in procurement consistently. When asked about the trend topics used, the majority (approx. 30%) of participants focus on sustainability and supplier networks. Technological trends such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Internet of Things (IoT) were significantly lower in comparison. . This is surprising. These trends are what everyone is talking about, and that provide sustainable optimization of operational processes, which, in turn, lowers costs.
Procurement must become more Digital and Adopt Trends
The results of the Procurement Barometer 2020 demonstrate again that digitalization is lagging far behind expectations – regardless of new requirements for digitalization projects that came into focus because of the pandemic. Additionally, medium-sized businesses are not engaging enough with forward-looking trends. Comprehensive implementation of AI is, for example, not realistic in the near future.
In times of crisis, procurement should not only be focused on putting out fires, but on driving digitalization. This is the only way to sustainably strengthen the resilience of the company.
Procurement Barometer 2020
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