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Digital transformation: The way to sustainable procurement management (I)

Hong Kong, February 22, 2019 – Procurement is a complicated scope of business operations involving packed communication and approval workflows with cumbersome documentation flow of RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, etc. Now that the global market is evolving faster than ever in the age of rapid information technology advancement, even though some managed to build a well-structured procurement management model some years ago, it can be a big challenge to maintain it in good form and at the same time quicken your procurement.

Yet, information technology not only influences change of market behavior, but also can empower you to adapt to the market change. According Gartner’s latest research on procurement insights for 2019, 87% of senior business leaders from both private- and public-sector organizations say digitalization has become their company priority.

Compliance cultivates best practices
In today’s market with vibrant economy and keen competition, businesses in pressure to speed up their buying process often have to consider skipping or short-cycling sourcing steps. It is up to 60% of the time as revealed in Gartner’s report. However, as 68% of the chief procurement officers have experienced, such compromises in due diligence can lead to bad trade-offs. The most obvious is you are not able to speed up your procurement in the long run, since the accumulated inconsistent procedures are actually getting your procurement team no rules to follow and spreading chaos among record tracing, auditing, etc. Digitalizing your procurement procedures means all the workflows are pre-defined and request every involved party’s standardized operational practices, which in return helps you nurture a shared culture of compliance in the most comfortable way. On the other hand, your efficiency gain will not be sacrificed, thanks to the centralized documentation, e-access without time or location limitation, and automation of payables scheduling, tracking, verification, etc. 

Automation means faster, and not necessarily costly
While many businesses are experiencing faster product and project cycles, they inevitably face higher pressure on meeting schedules that are getting tighter, and it can be even worse if you do not have systematic procedures to let you be sure of your schedules, and also to get your partners or customers assured. So for the sake of both the real faster procurement and the psychological assurance, it is worthwhile to invest your once-and-for-all effort in automating your procurement management. While many may still relate digital transformation to big investments, you actually are in the time for the best choice with cost flexibility, which is having your e-procurement with software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Next week, we will continue to talk about the sustainability in procurement and how technology helps you realize this vision.


Digital transformation: The way to sustainable procurement management (II)​


Dennis Yu

Principal Consultant of Enterprise Procurement Management, C&T