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Supply Management - is your organisation tech ready?

This article was first published on Supply Management

Procurement is changing. Digitalisation is leading to faster and more connected processes and decisions, and empowered customers have greater expectations than ever before. Leaders are keen to respond to this disruption but are often left wondering how to harness the opportunities they’re presented with.

1.       Understand how procurement can increase its value add

Your first step is an end-to-end analysis of how value is delivered across the procurement lifecycle. Find out which decisions drive the biggest impact on results, whether that is increasing your margins, securing programme stability, or delivering better service to your customer.

In today’s fast-paced environment, the most agile organisations achieve better results, so making and implementing decisions quickly is vital to maximising your potential. It is essential to succinctly articulate your statement of value by sharing a vision of what you set out to achieve during the earliest stage of the digital transformation. This should be followed by further engagement with your procurement team, to understand people’s perceptions of how they use technology now and how they’d adapt to new solutions.

2.       Identify how each technology can help you

Once you’ve identified gaps preventing you from delivering maximum value, it’s time to understand which technologies best meet your needs. There are an overwhelming number of options in the marketplace, in addition to technologies you already have access to but might not be fully exploiting. Consequently, development of a clear value case for investment is essential, as outlined in our recent smart supply chain report.

Whichever solution you choose, you can reduce the risk of failure by considering how any new technology will be incorporated into your existing architecture. During the initial implementation, starting small through proofs of concept will allow you to test and iterate the solution, rather than rely on it working first time.

3.       Act decisively to prepare people for change

During implementation, the biggest factor influencing success is people. There’s a common misconception that increased automation equates to loss of jobs. However, our report on people and machines found that technology can augment the workforce and free people from menial, repetitive tasks.

In summary, procurement leaders can realise the significant benefits that digital solutions offer by being bold and courageous with a focus on capabilities, technologies and – crucially – their people.

Unlock value from your supply chain

Find out more

Contact the authors

  • Christian Checkley

    Christian Checkley

    PA strategy expert

  • Andrew Butler

    Andrew Butler

    PA defence and security expert

    Andy Butler is a procurement and transformation consultant working within Defence and Security. He has delivered procurement and commercial strategies for maritime acquisitions worth c. £12bn and is currently developing a digital transformation strategy for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s Commercial Function.

    Insights by Andrew Butler

Contact the defence and security team