Supply chain management has changed in the face of new technology. More than ever before, decision-makers can automate processes to make sure each processes is efficient and little money is lost. According to software executive and Supply Management contributor Scott Hays, however, some procurement executives are taking their newfound abilities for granted and are overlooking chances to see their relationships with their partners thrive and their agility increase.
Hays stated that some executives can become comfortable in their procurement procedures once they add their first digital features are added. This is a mistake, in his opinion, due to the additional gains available through better visibility and closer data sharing with partner organizations. While turning procurement over to an automated system and moving workflows online are indeed beneficial, moving beyond that comfortable level of automation and uncovering new areas for change and improvement represents the next step.
The processes that Hays sees holding potential include vetting new suppliers, arranging new and favorable markdowns and discovering sales opportunities for items with high volume. He stated that synchronizing analytics systems and other technologies that promise high visibility with the basic procurement systems can lead to overall enhancement. Hays added that some companies with the technical means to be more visible overlook them because of a corporate culture that remains unaware of the advantages. Visibility is a best practice in many areas of the supply chain.
New age of procuerement
Hays is not the only supply chain management professional aware of new opportunities in procurement. Supply Chain Digital contributor Drew Hofler stated that the entire role is changing across industries, boosted by new systems and connections between departments. He saw a connection between procurement and finance that could change the way departments work.
Hofler urged collaboration between the two sections. Financial executives largely want procurement onboard for new objectives, including managing money and pressing the business outward into new markets. He cited data from a study by CFO Research and Services that found CFOs ready to give their supply chain compatriots more of a role in transaction processes but still eager to see gains in efficiency and productivity.
Modern B2B integration systems could help unite departments for a common cause. Sending messages and transmitting data securely through the cloud is a far cry from previous communication methods, which presented security risks and took too much time. The new age of communication and visibility is fast, easy and safe.