Digital is still a sticking point for the modern procurement strategy


Continuous assessment of company strengths and where your business sits in the marketplace has always been vital for operating a business with real longevity.

At Odesma, we use our Assessor tool to analyse companies’ procurement functions, and this has given us access to some interesting data on what businesses are prioritising in an uncertain economic and political climate.

Most notably, just 4% of businesses are currently prioritising automation and mechanisation in their procurement processes. This highlights procurement’s ongoing struggle to adopt the latest technologies, despite a wider range of digital options being available than ever before.

I’ve found that this reluctance to prioritise technology in procurement often stems from a lack of understanding of the tech itself, and it’s this knowledge gap that we must tackle in order for procurement to excel.

Yes, certain tech might sound daunting and complicated at first, but it’s really quite straightforward, with potential benefits greatly outweighing any teething issues. For instance, AI can monitor changing trends and habits in real-time to give a more accurate, wider reaching view of what’s to come for companies. As AI is much more reactive to ever-evolving global conversations, it can turn this into actionable insights for businesses to develop more intelligent strategies – but only if the procurement function is willing to adopt it.

Interestingly, data from our Assessor tool also revealed that 82% of businesses have an inflated view of the maturity of their procurement operation.

This inflated view of businesses’ own procurement functions is, again, largely down to a lack of understanding and an unwillingness to look beyond what is going on outside their own markets. However, companies must reject this inward mentality or they will be at risk of falling behind competitors. Looking outside of our own industries is a key driver for progression.

On a more positive note, the data showed competency to be consistently high, with the procurement industry’s knowledge of its own function remaining stronger than ever.

If procurement can use this in-depth knowledge as a platform to then evolve into a more digitally-minded industry, we stand a good chance of not only sticking out the hard times, but beating all expectations. Only time will tell, but I for one am feeling positive.



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