As I open my laptop this morning for the first time in 2019, I found myself thinking about what we can expect from procurement in 2019 and beyond.
Like any prediction, if it’s too far out I can say anything – and if it’s too close, it’s probably already here. So I’ve focused on the three key themes I’ve seen firsthand with the clients I’ve worked with over the past couple of years, as well as trends in related fields such as F&A and HR.
So here goes – my predictions for procurement in 2019:
- There has been a lot of buzz around robotic process automation (RPA) in the last two or three years, but in 2019 we will see a reality check on what can (and should) be accomplished with RPA. Organizations will start to re-look at where they can make smarter investments in their current technology to optimize it.
- While digital will remain a key enabler in the process, there will be more focus on the wider operating model required to drive and maintain compliance in the process. The workforce to support this will need to be re-skilled to support procurement in a digital world.
- Blockchain, a buzzword with a trillion potential use cases, will become more mainstream, especially in areas where trust in the transaction is critical and hard to manage. Conversely, blockchain will also drive adoption of network transactions without blockchain, where the trust factor doesn’t warrant the investment.
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Greg Bateup has worked with clients to deliver business transformation and BPO services for almost 30 years. For the last few years, Greg has focused on the digital transformation of the source-to-pay function, and how organizations can not only drive efficiencies in the procurement function, but also drive compliance and savings.