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Is your procurement team Dispensable?


Posted on April 1, 2019


Is your procurement team Dispensable?

Let’s stop worrying about the future and start creating the future we want to live in.

Dollars and cents get all the glory but firms are quickly shifting focus to redefining their procurement value to increase operational efficiency and digitizing operations to mitigate cost and risks ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... It’s expected that one third of manufacturers will be using big data analytics by the end of 2020 and that every important decision, personal or professional, will be made with the assistance of artificial intelligence.The rapid pace at which technology is evolving introduces a wide range of opportunities and challenges and to stay ahead, it is important for procurement organizations prepare themselves for a “digital culture shock.” ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ There’s no question that, under these circumstances, the face of procurement is rapidly changing and new skill-sets will be required. But does that mean our greatest fear will be realized, robots will seize our jobs and reduce procurement to a back-office function? ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... How will the advancement of cognitive technology be an enabler, not the disabler of your career, allowing you and your team to drive superior results for your organisation? Does your organization really need a dedicated procurement team to do these things? These are the question that are keeping procurement pros up at night. ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Procurement professionals are still wary of the impact cognitive technology will have on the function, which results in a level of push back and reluctance to accept the changes that are coming. There’s no question that procurement teams needs to prepare for their own cognitive journeys, to consider what their company’s digital transformation will look like, and then think about how to prepare, or even influence it. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Cognitive tech is “not necessarily a replacement of the person, it’s someone sitting next to you and helping you.” Let’s equip ourselves and our teams to really make a difference with the advanced skills AI cannot replace – namely the power we have as human beings – or the power to connect - Playing to our human strengths... Our future will be e-enabled without a doubt, but humanity most definitely still has a place in procurement. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ The secret to our success in the Industry lies in something that no AI being can match – Relationships! - Our ability to leave people with the feeling that they are special, important, and of real value - The human element. (“People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel”) ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The human element is what makes business, interesting, challenging, innovative, rule-breaking, risk-taking, and friend-making. The joy of procurement is in the personal. It’s the unique relationships we create with people: the deals, the secrets, the preferential options, the negotiations.... ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Our relationships are THE competitive advantage. Up, down, and across the supply chain. It will be interactions between people that will be the real determinants of success and failure. To prosper in this next Industrial Revolution, we need to play to our human strengths – collaboration, connection, innovation, influence – the things only we humans can do. We need to embrace our human-ness, our humane-ness, and really get connected with our stakeholders, our suppliers, our teams and our communities. ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ The digitization of our organization will free up time for our employees to focus on things that are important for procurement: Getting closer to clients, creating time and space to innovate on our processes and innovate on the solutions that we’re delivering to our stakeholders! ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Am therefore taking the more optimistic, and realistic approach, that humans can, and will, win the day! What’s your take?................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Joy Njau (FCIPS)



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