As a result of transformation, procurement is becoming part of a greater dynamic and is becoming increasingly visible within companies. On a strategic level, this contribution should constitute the overall aim, which gives meaning to the transformation actions being undertaken, or considered within purchasing departments. In the most recent instalment of its annual study, the Hackett Group identified four levers to guide procurement officers towards a business-oriented digital transformation. While 84% of the buyers surveyed believe that digital technologies will incite a profound shift in procurement processes in the next three to five years, less than a third say that they have introduced a real transformation strategy. This double figure pinpoints the challenges faced and certainly encourages action to be taken. There is still a long way to go in order to take action and stay afloat.
1 – Improve the stakeholder experience to make it more meaningful
Overall stakeholder satisfaction is an indicator which influences and inspires the priorities of procurement teams and ensures that key aspects of their work are focused on value creation. A positive interactional experience is a strong engagement lever for taking initiative and responsibility.
78% of respondents believe that managing purchasing performance in line with its contribution to commercial activity is a priority and 73% still think that it is important to ensure that the acquisition of skills is linked with changes in market expectations.
2 – Manage purchases as a service offer to align priorities with those of the business
Positioning procurement as a portfolio of services makes it easier to align the challenges of the role with those of the company as a whole. To promote this offer, leading companies are also working with a purchase brand, similar to their employer brand, in order to unite teams around a strong brand image and make their involvement visible to stakeholders.
The buyers surveyed by the Hackett Group identified four services to be developed as a priority: creativity of sourcing (31%), the purchase brand (26%), logistical innovation (22%) and e-procurement (19%).
3 – Develop the analysis of purchasing data in order to be a genuine partner
Procurement officers collect a large volume of data, little of which is used to improve processes and even less of which is used to benefit collective performance. Reasoning on a company level and providing internal stakeholders with useful data adds another dimension to procurement's contribution.
56% of respondents to the Hackett Group 2017 survey believe that they will place greater emphasis on data analysis in future.
4 – Use innovative technologies to accelerate digital transformation
Procurement teams will not be able to succeed without the right tools to automate and dematerialise processes. This includes tools to manage with as much visibility as possible. Technology is at the centre of digital procurement transformation.
32% of buyers surveyed by the Hackett Group said that they would particularly like to have a single portal to handle flows, instead of the current variety of tools that are used.