CPO Catalyst: Realizing the value of technology to transform procurement

In partnership with Globality

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Discussion attendees:

Matthias Gutzmann

Phil Fersht
CEO & Chief Analyst
HFS Research

Anna Spinelli
DHL Deutsche Post

Keith Hausmann

Jaime Robles

Michael Jacobs

Janelle Orozco

Christopher Kayatz
Swiss Post

Patrick Foelck
Head of Strategy & Transformation Procurement

Matthias Toepert

Realizing the Value of Technology to Transform Procurement

Procurement leaders understand that cost and spend management alone are no longer enough; they recognize the need to accelerate the digital transformation of their purchasing capabilities to drive growth and value across the wider business. But despite promising use cases, there has been slow adoption within procurement of innovative, game-changing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and blockchain. Transformative CPOs know they need to embrace transformational platforms and solutions to help their companies survive and thrive in today’s uncertain economic climate, yet many are struggling to realize the benefits.

For this CPO Roundtable in conjunction with DPW2021, we brought together a group of leading procurement executives from across different sectors to explore the key steps they should take to put this vision for the future of procurement into practice.

The topics discussed varied from recognizing technology’s critical role in the operating model of modern procurement organizations, enabling people to focus on the truly human work, to overcoming the organizational resistance that any business transformation faces, including reimagining old, analog processes and digitalizing new, consumer-like ways of working; and how combining traditional systems with new best-of-breed technologies can successfully create the procurement function of tomorrow, today. After an engaging and thought-provoking session, the group found agreement around four overarching takeaways:

The consumerization of procurement will drive its transformation

Procurement needs to consumerize and democratize the user experience in order to enable business partners to purchase goods and services at speed, with the agility required in today’s fast-changing world. Providing an intuitive, self-serve model akin to those which users enjoy in their personal lives can only be achieved using innovative platforms and cutting-edge, AI-powered technologies that simplify and digitalize outdated manual processes. Furthermore, this transformation will only work if these solutions are designed for the business users and not the procurement function, as has often been the case in the past.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution

No single type of technology can provide this end-to-end, user-friendly stakeholder experience to the required levels so procurement leaders need to plan their digital transformation programs carefully, identifying the innovative solutions that will add the most value, solving current pain-points for the business. These platforms need to seamlessly integrate with existing core systems, as well as other bespoke technologies, across this modern, best-of-breed style ecosystem that will help shape the future of procurement, driving smarter decision-making and eliminating inefficient analog dependencies.

Procurement needs to sell transformation to the business

Procurement leaders need to prioritize having a strong vision with a solid change management strategy, gaining support for the adoption of these new platforms by making it clear to the business stakeholders how the user-friendly, self-serve functionality and intelligence will make their lives easier and actually create value for the wider business. If the business has previously undergone transformations that didn’t deliver on their promises this makes that task more difficult but clear communication of the benefits to stakeholders will help to ensure buy-in from key partners.

Technology can unleash the potential of procurement talent

Category expertise is still an important asset – it provides useful context and, depending on the particular sector, vital experience and know-how – but there’s a need to free procurement talent from repetitive, transactional tasks and paperwork. Instead, that expertise can be applied, whether it's emotional intelligence, process knowledge, analytical insight or category experience, in different, more valuable ways that provide greater value to the organization as a whole. This new operating model for tomorrow’s procurement function will see technology taking care of repetitive tasks more reliably and consistently, delivering a simple, seamless experience for business partners and allowing procurement talent to create the aforementioned strategic value and help earn that long-talked about seat at the table. 

Click here to learn more about how procurement can help enable a company’s ESG strategy by unleashing the power of performance spending.

This event is held in partnership with Globality

Globality is revolutionizing how companies buy and sell services with the world’s only AI-powered Smart Sourcing Platform and Marketplace. Globality’s Platform automates the demand creation, supplier identification, proposal evaluation, and statement of work processes, matching companies with outstanding suppliers that meet their specific service needs. Globality has enabled global Fortune 500 companies to shorten the sourcing process from months to hours while delivering savings of 20% or more. For more information, visit Globality’s website at globality.com.


DPW is the global innovation and mission-based ecosystem for digital procurement. We are driven by our purpose: To unlock the true power of procurement through excellence in digital.
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