Why agile procurement is key

How can your sourcing processes help you become agile?

Technology is changing the world at a staggering pace. While innovations like artificial intelligence and automation have the potential to improve the efficiency of companies in all industries, the ones that fail to prepare for the implementation of these kind of changes will quickly fall behind their competitors.

In order to succeed, companies need to be agile – to have the knowledge and ability to understand and adapt to changes to reduce risk, gain a competitive edge and take advantage of the new opportunities.

Speaking to Jaggaer, Art of Procurement founder Philip Ideson commented: “With the fast pace of change, there is a sense of unpredictability. Procurement is the one function that can bring everything together to help companies adapt.”

So, how do you achieve procurement agility? According to a recent article by Business2Community, sourcing can provide an agile supply chain.

To be agile, the publication argues that sourcing processes need to be: “adaptable to changing business and market conditions, scalable for growth, automated for efficiency, transparent to stakeholders, enabled by technology, and optimised through analytics.”

So, how to create agile sourcing processes that boost the bottom line?

Building a sourcing knowledge base

Sharing is caring, so impart your sourcing wisdom. Creating a central sourcing knowledge base effectively pools resources and enables smoother staff rotation. It can also make sure businesses internally standardise sourcing best practices and allows this information to be shared across organisational silos.

Invest in automation

Technology boosts efficiencies, none more so than automation. This technological innovation replaces manual tasks, allowing time to be spent elsewhere.

When looking for automation software, look for features that provide streamlined communication through instant messaging and an automated compilation of bid responses.

Get transparent

It might sound simple, but improving project transparency can significantly impact sourcing results.

By making sure everyone involved has a clear understanding of the project, its timelines and specific requirements, you’re reducing the risk of errors, enabling more informed decision making and better prioritisation. Vendors can then offer their best deals from the word go, and you can save time and money over the course of the whole project.

Use analytics

Like automation, data analytics is now at our disposal. So, if you’re not already taking advantage of this technology, why not?

Data connects numerous projects across multiple departments, and analytics can provide companies with insights into pricing trends, market dynamics and sourcing successes. To put it another way, analytics tells the data’s story, enabling businesses to respond to emerging market changes.

Unpredictability has become expected in the procurement world and managing this is a constant challenge. Because of this, as well as advanced planning, organisations must be resilient to the changes in the market.

Contact us to see how Linney can help you prepare for the unexpected