According to the third annual 2019 CPO Study, the next several years of procurement developments will be a journey of digital transformation that is changing the way business is done on a fundamental level. Produced by WBR Insights, the customer research division of Worldwide Business Research, and in cooperation with Amazon Business, Beeline, Capriza and GEP, this year's report examines the role of the CPO as a catalyst for digital transformation.
The move to digital is no longer a question of if, but when, for procurement leaders. The majority of procurement leaders surveyed are already in varying stages of digital transformation. In fact, 84% of executives surveyed said they were in the midst of sourcing solutions and 50% consider their transformation either nearly or totally complete.
Digital transformation in procurement allows for routine purchasing to be automated, while self-service tools offer the potential to better control spending. In addition, the wealth of data that a new generation of procurement leaders can leverage will help demonstrate value to their internal stakeholders.
“Many CPOs have completed the first steps towards digital transformation in the form of integrating traditional procurement IT solutions (Source to Contract, Procure to Pay, etc.), and are just beginning to explore the potential of cutting edge technologies like AI and Blockchain,” said Andrew Greissman, Digital Content Director, WBR Insights.
Managed services are, and will continue to be, a large part of procurement leaders' tactical strategy with strategic sourcing (82%), category management (82%) and supply risk management (75%) as top priorities. Within the next 12 months, 89% of the procurement leaders surveyed plan to have at least 50% of their procurement processes automated. With this automation in place, repetitive tasks such as RFP creation and routine purchasing can be set, allowing procurement leaders to focus more on strategic projects and developing team skills.
Even with momentum, as with any fundamental change, there are barriers to overcome with a digital shift. Procurement leaders face three main challenges when advancing their digital transformations: budget, lack of organizational urgency and bringing new technology into a legacy environment.
The benefits of updating technology infrastructures will often address the core challenges after implementation: a more fluid transfer of data, actionable insights and a more integrated approach will quickly demonstrate tangible benefits when put into action.
By serving thousands of small businesses to large enterprises every week, Amazon Business is acutely aware of the challenges in digital transformation of the procurement function. From integration into the leading purchasing systems and consolidating suppliers, to advanced analytics dashboards and the ability to customize and control spending, we have solutions tailored for the needs of business customers no matter where they are in their digital journey. As the procurement function evolves, Amazon Business continues to innovate.