September 25, 2019

From Amsterdam With Love: Insights From Digital Procurement World 2019

Digital Procurement World image - Ragnar 600px

You’d have to have a stone heart and the ability to block out the left half of your brain not to come out of DPW feeling hugely inspired and energised about all the cool tech stuff going on in procurement at the moment.

I loved the diversity of ProcureTECH providers at DPW.

Too often these events are littered with the usual S2P suites. We can all understand why incumbent events follow the money, but it doesn’t always make for the most exciting forums when the sell side are offering very similar solutions.

Best of Breed software diversity

But last week we witnessed such a diversity of players which changed the ratio of S2P suite companies compared to Best of Breed players, from Per Angusta (procurement performance management), Spendency (spend analysis), Supply Hive (supplier rating), Keelvar (sourcing), ProcureTrain (learning platform) to Alqami (data asset management) and the many, many others that participated across the Ecosystem.

This diversity also changed the conversation between the ecosystem players and created a more equal level field where it felt like buying organisations were just as keen on learning as the selling side were on educating.

I have nothing against S2P Suites, it just feels like these solutions are maturing and starting to feel their age in a market rapidly moving to more specialist Best of Breed applications.

Still a market opportunity for S2P players

Personally I think most will gravitate towards their core, the P2P, and think they are struggling on the fringes of their suite capabilities, such as sourcing, supplier information management and spend analysis.

Lots of organisations will still make the move from low maturity procurement to the next level. So the market opportunity for S2P players will remain significant, though the space seems to be consolidating around only three or four vendors.

But it will inevitably reduce their incentive to consider fundamental business model changes, something we all know too well is the case with the ERP players. They simply get locked in by their own success.

Future of procurement technology

Below is a snippet from this excellent report by AT Kearney which I feel has gone under the radar and is worth paying particular attention to.

The report looks at the future of procurement technology and why mediocrity no longer is acceptable.

“Procurement faces a wake-up call as tectonic shifts in technology threaten to completely alter the function, leading eventually to its automation.”

“Business users hate it, procurement users loathe it…the systems [used by procurement] are rigid, complicated, and only solve a fraction of procurement’s requirements”, says the opening paragraph.

If the ProcureTech bonanza hasn’t quite taken off yet, certainly not in terms of company adoption, what DPW showed us is that it’s accelerating and getting much closer.

Enjoy this read, it has golden nuggets littered all over and makes its fundamental points with force.

This piece on the subject of Digital Procurement World, Best of Breed solutions and the future of procurement technology was written by HICX CCO, Ragnar Lorentzen, and originally appeared on LinkedIn here.

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