Procurement leaders gathered to discuss the future
Procurement leaders gathered to discuss the future

Procurement must embrace technology, says Supply Management roundtable

14 July 2017

How can procurement lead through uncertainty, helping businesses not just survive but thrive in a fast-changing marketplace?

That was the subject addressed at a recent Supply Management executive roundtable, in partnership with managed services solution provider blur Group.

A range of procurement leaders from organisations including Shell, Royal Mail and PwC gathered to discuss these issues.

All participants agreed that in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, procurement has a unique opportunity to lead and a bright future ahead – if it can step up. They all shared the view that procurement isn’t just a service to the business and can do so much more than simply cut costs; rather it should be seen as a fundamental, value-adding part of business strategy.

Grabbing this opportunity means the procurement leader of tomorrow must be comfortable with technology. While a survey carried out by SM and blur Group found procurement professionals view technology-led disruptive innovation as the greatest risk to their businesses, attendees agreed that technology must be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.

As CIPS interim CEO Gerry Walsh said: “Technology means procurement people spending more time on the strategic side and less time on admin.”

Laurence Cook, chief commercial officer at blur Group, added: “Don’t be afraid of technology; embrace it. Technology complements business relationships. It doesn’t replace them.”

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