It’s 2017 — Here Are 5 Key Areas Procurement Needs to Pay Attention To

Happy New Year!

No crystal ball could have prepared us for the smorgasbord of change that this past year presented.

As aptly put in a “super hip” news headline I read last week, “2016 was lit” and the list of top trending news topics I could type here would fill multiple paragraphs.

Unsurprisingly, many of those headlines left the procurement and supply chain world in a cold sweat (think: Trump, Brexit, China, trade policies etc.). If you are in need of a refresher, check out these recent ‘Best Of Spend Matters 2016’ posts:

Preparing for 2017

So, how should those of us in the supply chain and procurement sphere be preparing for the next 365 days? What should be top of mind?

According to Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, and Paul Blake and Dhananjay Nagalkar of GEP in the recent webinar, “Digital Procurement in 2017: Polls, Predictions, and Prognostications,” there are five keys areas to consider or pay attention to in the New Year:

  1. Global trade and economic policy

While you don’t often hear procurement people talking about policy, given the recent election results in November, policy has become a must-talk-about-it subject especially when you think about issues like landed costs, commodities or the significant rise of the dollar.

For the complete Spend Matters take on Trump’s potential policy ramifications, check out The Trump Effect: Trade, Policy, Commodities and Procurement in 2017.

  1. The Digital World

Procurement is becoming digital. We must move extremely fast and procurement needs to embrace the changes afoot (i.e. direct access to information and analytics, internet of things) to stay ahead.

  1. Mega Trends (Buzzwords are now must-knows)

Pay attention to the capabilities and innovative technology available to you and your company. Those buzzwords you keep hearing? They are no longer buzzwords. They are the here and now and ignoring them will not do you any favors.

See Is the Future Already Here? Best Intelligent Procurement Posts of 2016 for a quick run-down on this topic.

  1. What a CEO wants

It should come as no surprise that the list presented during the webinar on ‘what a CEO wants’ included: fewer surprises and complete visibility into the supply chain, constrained strategies (you can’t do everything, folks!), procurement alignment, and data (Can you hear the continuous echo of this word?).

Want to please your boss? Get a handle on your analytics.

  1. Robotics and artificial intelligence

An emerging area that is absolutely relevant when considering 2017 is robotics and artificial intelligence. While it can be difficult separating the hype from reality when discussing this topic, remember the real takeaway/benefit of automation is automating the areas of your business that you don’t want to do! Streamlining these areas can only have positive results.

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