Almost three years on from the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still feeling its global effects. What’s more, rising inflation, government shifts and geopolitical issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, mean unprecedented times are even more prevalent – making it crucial for businesses to build resilience and agility through digital technologies.
In 2020, 85% of businesses told a McKinsey report that they struggled with inefficient digital technologies in their supply chains once the pandemic hit and 93% planned to increase resilience across their supply chain. Fast forward two years, through all of the economic headwinds and geopolitical uncertainty, and a 2022 survey by Globality and the Sourcing Industry Group revealed that a staggering 50% of global procurement leaders believe that their companies are still “laggards” when it comes to digital transformation, and still less than 10% of leading companies have fully embraced it in the way they buy and sell services.
To combat the global forces at work today, a truly agile sourcing process should have three main elements:
The innovative power of AI through digitalization, can help procurement leaders maximize outcomes for indirect spend. Digitalization allows procurement to do more with less, generating 60-70% productivity improvement, bringing 30-40% more spend under management, and delivering 10-20% cost savings, which together leads to more than 20 times return on investment through an inclusive, competitive and transparent sourcing model.
A consumer-grade, intuitive experience
This will delight business stakeholders and will not only bring more spend under procurement’s control but also increase the function’s influence across the organization and will help to earn that long talked about seat at the table.
More spend moved to self-service
Without sacrificing any aspect of compliance or risk, management drives and multiplies these operating efficiencies and cost savings, while freeing up procurement talent to become business advisors and relationship managers. This allows talent to focus on more value-driven strategic tasks such as supplier collaboration, innovation and R&D.
How to achieve agility
CPOs everywhere are being increasingly pushed to find innovative, intelligent ways to incorporate more agility into procurement and the best way to achieve this is by taking operating processes, which are historically manual tasks that eat into employee’s valuable time, and designing them to be user friendly, completely digital and intelligent. Especially in times of uncertainty, this approach will help CPOs respond more efficiently to challenges, build and maintain an edge over competitors.
While agility has always been important to the success of procurement, it must now become the top priority. But for true agility to be possible, businesses must have access to the intelligence that will allow them to respond immediately to both internal changes and any other unpredictable external challenges. For example, implementing modern technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can automate a company’s core processes, helping to achieve better and faster results.
By reimagining current capabilities and embedding intelligent insights into a company’s business processes, both procurement teams and business stakeholders can access and act upon valuable information and insights, driving better outcomes across the entire organization.
The next steps for procurement leaders
Now more than ever, CPOs are planning ahead – looking into the technology available on the market that can help them to direct their teams to operate in a more agile manner and optimize the sourcing process. Intelligent, AI-powered sourcing platforms, like Globality, can guide business stakeholders step-by-step, ensuring users make the right decisions for them and connect with the most valuable supplier quickly and efficiently. This new approach is a sure-fire way to inject agility – enabling procurement to deliver better business outcomes and helping companies not only survive but also thrive during these unpredictable, turbulent times.
Globality’s mission is to promote economic inclusion by creating a level playing field that gives all companies, no matter their size or location, an opportunity to compete and win based on the merits of proven performance, expertise, and passion. Through its AI-powered Platform and Smart Sourcing technologies, Globality is bringing digital transformation to the sourcing industry. Globality’s AI digital solution replaces the archaic analog request for proposal, scoping needs efficiently and effectively, managing demand, matching companies with outstanding suppliers that meet their specific service needs, and cutting the sourcing process from months to hours while delivering savings of 20 percent or more. In January 2019, Globality raised $100 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing the total investment it has raised since its founding six years ago to $172 million.
About Keith Hausmann
Keith Hausmann serves as the Chief Revenue Officer of Globality, and was previously Managing Director of Global Procurement and Supply Chain Operations at Accenture. Keith holds a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and was founder and leader of Procurian in Accenture. Keith is a procurement expert and is often cited for his insight and analysis on the global procurement industry and global supply chain.