Ariba Vision 2020: Tomorrow’s Shoes (Part II)

This is the second of two posts that address the fourteen predictions that were dead on in Ariba’s Vision 2020 – The Future of Procurement report. Any Supply Management organization that recognizes the truth of these predictions is well on its way to formulating a plan to be a leading Supply Management organization in the decade ahead.

18. Offensive line takes the field

Supply Management professionals will increasingly use online communties and networks to discover, connect to, and collaborate with suppliers in a relentless pursuit of growth and expansion in line with the strategic goals of the company. Furthermore, the collaboration will be much more intensive and innovation focussed than it is today.

23. Buyer-seller lines blur

The focus will shift from the effective utilization of supplier functions to the effective integration of supplier functions to the point that integrated supplier functions will be almost indistinguishable from buyer functions. In leading organizations, the line will blur to the point where it is essentially nonexistent.

24. Innovation comes from without

As the paper says, the supply management role will be less about “person-who-brings-innovation-in” and more about “person-who-assembles-innovation-communities-and-gets-out-of-the-way”. Even at most companies that use innovation networks today, the innovation is still driven by the supply management professional that posts a problem in need of a solution. In the future, the networks will identify the problems and the solutions and then bring them to the supply management professional. Next generation web-based technology will bring the democratization of technology to new heights.

26. (Key) Suppliers gain power

Increasing reliance upon (key) suppliers is going to give them substantially more leverage in buyer-seller relationships, which is going to result in the supply management organization having to sell itself to the supplier as a customer of choice instead of the supplier having to sell itself to the supply management organization as the supplier of choice. And the more innovative the supplier, the harder the sell the Supply Management organization will have before it.

27. Firms share risks and rewards

The leading supply management organizations, that are incorporating incentives into their contracts today, will move to a shared risk and reward model where both parties share the rewards of a successful venture as well as the risks of the undertaking. No longer will contracts be lopsided in favor of the buyer that will be as reliant on the supplier as the supplier is on the buyer.

30. Risk info catches up

Risk management will take prominence in an average Supply Management organization which will have more access to readily available third party information (from networked communities where participants pool data for operational risk assessment) and be better poised to mesaure risk and formulate appropriate mitigations. Risk management will be embedded in every sourcing and contracting process and a key component in the calculation of expected value.

31. Profits replace cost savings

The shift in focus from cost to value will see most Supply Management organizations retire cost savings and instead institute profit generation as a primary measure of organizational success. Top line growth will be just as important as bottom line impact in an organization that wants to improve business outcomes overall.

The next post will address the predictions that came close to the mark, but did not hit it.