A 2018 Hackett Group study shows “world class procurement organizations” have 29% fewer staff and 21% lower labor costs when compared to peers.

Queue the chorus of complaints:

“Fewer staff? We barely get by with what we have!”

While that may be true given your organization’s present circumstances, it is incumbent upon C-suite finance and procurement leaders to begin preparing their organizations and their teams for 2020 and the decade ahead. Doing so means embracing the wave of digitization and machine learning that is helping organizations to significantly improve their efficiency and competitive advantages.

Disruption & Human-AI Hybrid Procurement Teams

Technology changes can often mean a lot of industry-wide disruption and changes to the types of skills and jobs we hire humans to do.

The truth is, the future of finance and procurement will be hybrid AI and human teams. Difficult and time-consuming tasks are automated. Advanced machine learning algorithms allow for fast and efficient data categorization and analysis. Human team members are freed from dull and repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic goals and initiatives.

The Procurement Team Of The Future

CPOs, CFOs, and other finance and procurement leaders are well-advised to get started right away in modernizing their teams and preparing for the ongoing digital transformation in 2020 and beyond. Here are a few tips leaders can use to help design The Procurement Team of the Future:

  • Evaluate and implement “Best-of-Breed” technologies to be sure your team has exactly the tools they need to effectively achieve maximum value for the organization.
  • Select easy to integrate platforms that include a purposefully designed and intuitive UI.
  • Keep up to date – no one expects you to be an AI expert, but you should understand what technologies are available and how they can help you and your team increase efficiency, produce more value, and maximize organization profitability.
  • Redefine the role of the procurement team away from data analysis, aligning team member responsibilities with your strategic plans and initiatives, and helping teams to adjust and learn the skills they need to be maximally effective.
  • Stop hiring data analysts – make sure any new hires possess the skills necessary to effectively plan and carry out important strategic goals.
  • Communicate the value of data – CPOs and other C-suite executives sometimes have blind spots – help them to understand what effects new technologies can have on the organization, how these affect profitability and competitive advantage, and how teams can improve the value they provide and help to guide the organization into the future.

Conclusion

Future-oriented procurement and finance teams use the advantages of automation and machine learning to reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks. Simultaneously retraining staff to focus more on strategic planning initiatives, more personal and effective supplier management strategies, and a host of other value-adding activities results in a more productive, efficient, and engaged team.

It’s important to embrace this future now and give your organization the time to prepare and adjust.

Suplari can help you develop a forward-looking “procurement team of the future” by delivering clear spend visibility, advanced AI-powered insights, and a simple and intuitive UI procurement and finance teams love!
Set up a free demo today and see how Suplari can help catapult your team ahead of the competition and prepare your organization for the digital future!