Procurement technology has evolved. From simple spreadsheets and online reverse auction tools a decade ago to the end-to-end platforms today – procurement software is now more powerful, capable and efficient. But with companies expecting their procurement teams to be more strategic, procurement managers need software that not only automates and streamlines all sourcing and procurement processes, but also enables effective decision-making.
Here are three game-changing trends in procurement technology that drive the development of next-generation purchasing software.
1) Cloud Computing
Companies all over the world embrace cloud-based tools and software for the various benefits they offer compared to conventional software. Cloud-based procurement technology not only allows companies to save on infrastructure costs (installation, integration, operation and maintenance), but also offers flexibility to scale according to business needs. Cloud procurement software also allows easier and better collaboration with suppliers and other stakeholders, improving efficiency and reducing cycle times.
2) Mobile built-in
With ever more mobile work and lifestyle, employees demand technology and tools that allow them to work anywhere, anytime, on any device. In fact, a Citrix study says that by 2020, almost 90% of all large global organizations will offer employees app-enabled mobile work opportunities. A mobile native procurement software, such as SMART by GEP, allows procurement managers to work on the move and provide all the information needed for effective decision making. In addition to providing real-time access to spending, savings, contracts and payment information, mobile-enabled purchasing software allows procurement profiles for source providers, create and issue RFPs, manage eAuctions, create POs, initiate payments, and manage the entire source of payment cycle – when anywhere and anywhere on any device.
3) Big data analysis
When purchasing is transformed from a transaction facilitator to a strategic entity and a trusted business advisor, business analytics will play a crucial role. Big data analysis would allow procurement to gain predictable insights, such as demand forecasting, commodity price movements, supplier performance, among others. Procurement software with built-in big data analytics tools and artificial intelligence capabilities would enable procurement professionals to proactively identify savings opportunities and minimize risks by providing crucial insight and timely intelligence.
Businesses looking to either invest in new purchasing software or upgrade their current purchasing technology must, for a solution that leverages cloud technology, provide relevant information and comprehensive source-to-payment functionality at anytime and anywhere. any device and also provides cutting-edge business analysis capabilities to enable efficient decision making.