We were delighted to join iVentiv’s latest CPO Knowledge Exchange, with our partner scoutbee, to explore the key theme ‘What does AI really look like in the procurement world?’. The session was an effective and enjoyable catalyst for senior procurement leaders from top multinationals to discuss today’s sourcing challenges and the trajectory of future potentials.
The recent pandemic has shaken established supply chain models, pushing procurement teams globally to transform towards becoming highly responsive. On top of established challenges, global procurement leaders are dealing with new priorities and an increased demand of speed to deliver in their supply chain.
With rapidly rising numbers of sourcing demands to counter impacts from COVID-19 on global supply chains, teams around the world face an unprecedented pressure to source quality within risk and compliance management boundaries, and fast. AI driven technology, such as scoutbee, enable procurement professionals to meet and exceed expectations, delivering rapid sourcing in the context of risk mitigation, whilst delivering against sustainability and supply base diversification targets.
iVentiv’s roundtable guests echoed three current trends that we often discuss with global CPOs:
- Immediate recovery and retention of cash has utmost priority right now
- Cost reduction and negotiation of better deals is important
- Stimulation of growth is the long term win
In most organizations, especially multi-nationals, the Procurement function has been further elevated to a boardroom focus, and CPOs are increasingly involved in strategic decisions at a much earlier stage than in the past. For example, procurement organizations today are making larger contributions to innovation via collaboration with established and new suppliers.
Ben Eichinger, Director of Sales Partner Management & Focus Accounts at scoutbee, comments: “Procurement is normally measured on financial performance. Yet at this point, whilst managing on average 43% of total costs, teams often still lack tools to be fast and deliver maximum strategic value. Most CPOs are responsible for projecting the revenues and also the market shares – and often finding the right routes to optimize cost or drive innovation or raise resilience is the biggest challenge they come to us for support with”.
St John Cameron, Managing Partner UK & APAC at Proudfoot, adds: “Procurement impacts the whole business value chain and we recently found that procurement specialists were being pulled forward earlier into the risk management process to ensure a critical continuity that matches up with the recovering and future growth strategies”.
Whilst businesses are often equipped with more than one ERP system and various overlapping S2C and P2P solutions, scoutbee has a unique capability for consolidating and enriching supply data. The platform enables performance monitoring of an established supply base whilst keeping an AI powered ear to the ground for new and upcoming trends and innovations from existing and potential suppliers alike.
In an increasingly automated world of Industry 4.0 – in which data is often referred to as the “new oil” – data driven decisions are now the best way to remain competitive and protect market share. The quality and robustness of data is therefore paramount.
The roundtable also touched upon how Master Data Management is taking higher priority than ever. AI driven technologies like scoutbee’s suite can help procurement teams to bridge the gap between speed and risk by delivering 360 degree supplier insights and ensuring these are based on exclusively validated and verified data points.