The Time Is Now: Digitalization Makes Purchasing Sustainable
How does medium-sized procurement position itself in the current clash between digitalization and sustainability? We investigated this in this year‘s procurement study. For the third time, Onventis, the BME, and the ESB Business School asked medium-sized companies to assess the status quo in purchasing. A total of 240 procurement managers, of which 57 % are strategic decision-makers, participated in the survey, which was conducted for the first time in all German-speaking countries from March to June 2021. This much up front: The data once again shows the great need to drive a synchronization of digitalization and sustainability.
In the Procurement Barometer 2021, you can find out how digitalised German purchasing organisations really are, which trends are currently dominating the SME procurement market the most and how you can lead your purchasing department unerringly through the digital transformation.
Download the complete study now free of charge. Click here for a reading sample for first insights.
To talk about procurement is to talk about digitalization. Especially in procurement, the digital transformation of processes along the entire value chain – from sourcing to orders to invoice processing – is essential. In addition to cost optimization, this saves an enormous amount of time. This is the only way procurement organizations can really drive value for enterprises. Because in addition to implementing operational and strategic purchasing processes, measures for risk minimization, and security of supply, pursuing the most important megatrends is a priority on the procurement agenda. This requires, in turn, optimally integrated digital and automated processes.
Purchasing departments continue to be challenged to drive forward the digitalisation of procurement management in a targeted manner. The importance of a corporate sustainability concept as part of the procurement culture is growing along with it. The digital and green transformation must go hand in hand.
Procurement Processes with the Greatest Digitalisation Potential
In procurement, it pays to drive the automation of processes and activities with smart tools. Performance can be improved, errors reduced, and time saved. This enables procurement to add value to the business. The range of sophisticated e-procurement tools is now diverse. Last year, one trend became apparent, and it has continued this year: All enterprises saw a greater need for digitalisation in supplier management. Since well-structured digital supplier management forms the basis for pursuing sustainability goals, this is not surprising. Numerous companies are focusing on the implementation of sustainability, and this requires corresponding digital structures.
Medium-sized companies see supplier management and order processing as the areas with the greatest need for digitalization.
Learning from the Pandemic and Planning for the Future
Last year, many procurement organizations could only operate reactively and could not plan for the long term. Supply chains for many items were interrupted, delivery times could not be met, and at the same time, supply had to be ensured. This required ad hoc measures, some of which still play a role, some are slowly being phased out, and some remain relevant for the long term. Like in 2020, most of the businesses surveyed state that they primarily want to ensure security of supply in the next year. This shows that seamless security of supply will continue to play a central role in procurement in the long term. Whereas risk management was also in second place in last year‘s study, this year the focus is on cost reduction. In addition, risk management and supply chain optimization continue to be important measures for procurement organizations.
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