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Learnings from the eWorld Procurement & Supply Event September 2016 in London

October 7, 2016
Posted by adjuno

Small Laptop & World

Adjuno recently attended eWorld’s Procurement & Supply event that provides fantastic networking opportunities and a packed agenda focusing on procurement hot topics. It’s a twice yearly event and is attended by many of the UK’s leading organisations. We went along to keep abreast of some of the latest industry news and insights and thought we would share some of the most interesting points with you in consecutive short blogs.

First up, we look at results from a survey that was showcased and looked into the state of spend control and eProcurement automation

The upshot is that procurement is becoming more automated in today’s world but there is definitely still a plethora of opportunities to be had through further automation projects.

From the organisations surveyed they gave a score against how they rated in automation across different processes in the business:

  • 25% were fully automated in the Purchase-to-Pay process
  • 22% were fully automated in strategic sourcing
  • 23% were fully automated in spend analysis
  • 49% were fully automated for invoice receipt and processing

The least automated areas of the business process included:

  1. Supplier Relationship Management
  2. Supplier Information Management
  3. Contract Visibility and Management
  4. Electronic Supplier Commerce

Supplier Relationship Management was the area with the lowest level of automation, with a whopping 68% saying they have zero automation in this area.

Much more consideration and investment is needed to achieve end-to-end automation in the supply chain across all departments and processes, as there were many bottleneck areas leading to non-compliance challenges.

Purchase-to-Pay solutions are often not well implemented and as a result don’t get enough uptake across the business as they’re not seen as user friendly.  Many companies end up looking to implement additional tactical solutions to plug the gaps they see from using large mainstream systems such as SAP and Oracle, which can be experienced as inflexible, and costly to configure to a business’s individual requirements.

When looking at the areas most planned to innovate in the next six months or less four key areas were highlighted:

  1. Spend Analysis
  2. Supplier Information Management
  3. Contract Visibility and Management
  4. Supplier Relationship Management

The main theme exposed was that most companies wanted to get a handle on spend and non-compliance through having access to business intelligence with actionable insights across the entire Purchase-to-Pay process. Companies want to reduce their risk and their cost.

Surprisingly perhaps, was that the sector comparison revealed the Public sector had the highest level of automation, followed by the private sector in most areas. Not surprisingly was that the not-for-profit sector trailed behind significantly.

Looking forward it’s likely many businesses will want to invest in automation technology in the near future. To do this, the technology selected is going to need to be provide the highest level of integration, visibility, reporting and usability in order to effect positive change.

In our follow up blog, we will take a look at Supplier Management Technology and Procurement’s attitude towards innovation.

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