The “Future” of Procurement: Old News Part IV

We know it’s been three full posts since we started discussing old news, but we’re still not done! Not even close! So if you were wondering why the doctor is ranting and raving like a mad man, it’s because he is mad. So far we’ve exposed 9 “future trends” that are so outdated that original bell bottoms seem new. And we’re not done! Not even close! We are going to cover three (3) more today. It’s insane! Even with a genius IQ it’s hard for the doctor to comprehend that so many hog manure “future trends” still see the light of day. And that’s why, once and for all, we have to bust them up — one by one.

24. Better Governance Models

Either you’re a vertical, horizontal, or hybrid organization structure with centralized, decentralized, or some form of hybrid governance. That’s it. the doctor doesn’t care what sort of new-fangled buzzword you come up with to describe your organizational structure or governance, those are your options. No more, no less. And Big 5/6 Consulting Co’s have been preaching better governance since well before what was supposed to be Indiana Jones’ Last Crusade was revealed to the world (even though it was during the 1980s that these same consulting companies started shouting the need for better governance from whatever rooftop they weren’t locked out of). In fact, these companies have been preaching better governance in some shape or form since their founding and AA (the LLP, not the sobriety help group) was founded over 100 years ago; the partnerships that evolved into KPMG over 140 years ago; and Deloitte & Touche, the partnerships that merged into E&Y, and the partnerships that merged to form PWC were each founded over 150 years ago.

23. e-Procurement System Adoption

To again be fair, e-Procurement System Adoption is still limited to the top half of enterprises that should be adopting systems and there’s still plenty of room at the top, but the reality is that ever since Coupa came onto the scene, and revolutionized the e-Procurement space, the availability and affordability of e-Procurement solutions increased dramatically over the coming years and now every business, large or small can afford an e-Procurement solution, not just ones with a Million dollars in their bank account. So, even though more businesses need to adopt e-Procurement, adoption has been steadily rising since Procurement Independence Day eight years ago. As a result, this has been a front and center issue for the last five years and is last decade’s future trend. Not this decade’s!

22. Business Process Convergence into Supply Management

While technically this belongs in ongoing blues, because, depending on which business process we are talking about, convergence into Supply Management might still be in the early stages, the reality is that once you go beyond buying office supplies, you are talking about the integration of other business processes into supply management because, in many companies, the procurement guy was the office manager and, besides buying office supplies, his whole responsibility was simply doing the paperwork. He’d negotiate for whatever part manufacturing wanted, cut the paperwork, and then deal with the invoice when it was received. He had no authority or control. He was on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder and if there was too much work for him to do, he was promoted to leader of the Island of Misfit Toys and assigned a disparate team of misfits who weren’t performing in the job they were hired to do but yet couldn’t (easily) be let go from the company. As soon as Procurement achieved responsibility for buying direct materials, hiring temporary services, and, more recently, print campaigns for marketing, there was even more business process convergence into supply management. And while it will continue, it’s an automatic consequence of supply management gaining traction, and a simple application of basic logic determines this, just like globalization implies increased competition. Chalk another one up to Mr. Obvious!