Is it time to embrace technology in procurement? - Supply Management

Is it time to embrace technology in procurement?

Gurjit Degun
18 June 2014

Gurjit Degun © Akin Falope19 June 2014 | Gurjit Degun

A roundtable, held by e-procurement provider Wax Digital in Manchester yesterday, looked at the different ways that technology can help speed up the procurement process.

Delegates agreed that online catalogues, similar in style to Amazon, for low value goods removed a lot of transactional activity from the procurement team. The roundtable also discussed the benefits of using new technologies to communicate with suppliers and agreed that the use of technology would leave more time for procurement teams to focus on strategic developments. “It will be a much more leaner and strategic space,” said Daniel Ball, director at Wax Digital.

However, issues were raised over fellow buyers embracing technology. Ryan Jones, group procurement director at NG Bailey, said as the company is usually a tier two supplier, it needs first tier contractors to also adopt technology if the industry is to succeed in using technology. “We need to see a paradigm shift in culture,” he explained.

But Paul Ellis, CEO at Wax Digital, told SM before the event he has seen a stronger uptake in the company’s e-procurement products over the past couple of years, and there are a lot more tenders for these systems in the market place.

So are procurement professionals dragging their heels in embracing technology? If it can successfully cut out the day-to-day administrative tasks, surely all procurement teams should have such systems in place. Or does the time required to implement systems and the potential cost put people off? How have you embraced technology in your organisation?

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