Everybody is Talking About Automation and Digitisation in Procurement, But What Does it Mean?

With e-Procurement solutions well established, most suppliers are familiar with bidding via a portal with a level of automation and a reduced need for manual intervention. However, beyond transactional purchasing and bidding solutions, has technology materially impacted procurement processes? Is procurement innovative in its delivery?

Digitally enabled procurement operations are the way forward, but at what pace and what are the solutions?

In terms of progressive and strategic technologies for business we are talking about:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality
  • Blockchain
  • The Internet of Things
  • 5G Networks
  • Autonomous Machines


Author of ‘The Innovation Ultimatum’, Steve Brown, states ‘businesses will experience more technology-driven change in the next ten years than in the last forty.’

So, what is this tech and who are the players (source Your Story).

Digital Procurement

As procurement professionals we have to consider how we achieve optimised cost, quality, service, and innovation when procuring in this arena.

In addition, we need to consider how these technologies can support procurement in advancement, automation, and innovation. Procurement in the main still depends heavily on manual tasks, and with the skills shortage, CPO’s need to get creative in how they continue to deliver against their strategic goals and critical activity.

Technology tools will enable agile behaviour and free up time for strategic work…. But how?

  • Intuitive intelligence – Analytics and dashboards are becoming more intuitive, managing large volumes of data to provide meaningful outputs, cutting across all key strategic objectives from cost management through to sustainability and supply chain resilience
  • Knowledge management – single solutions that allow collaborative and innovative working through developed features
  • Social collaboration – enhanced social intelligence managing 1st tier suppliers and beyond


With single procurement platforms giving access to all features, avoiding duplication, manual intervention, improving collaboration and supplier relationship management, this is a leap from the bolt on solutions a lot of procurement professionals are used to.

Watch this space as JDP continue to explore and share the growth of digital procurement.


The Innovation Ultimatum by Steve Brown


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