This week has been all about Procurement Innovation and how maybe it’s a good thing that They Terk Er Jerbs! as the only jobs that are perfectly suited for software and robotic automatons are those that we really don’t want to do. Let them match line items. Let them scan barcodes. Let them push e-paper all the live long day. No one writes folk songs about the paper drivin’ man, so they can have the damn e-paper.
But they won’t stop at automatic e-paper or transaction mapping or even invisible buying. They will go deeper. They will go broader. They will take all that can be taken with computation alone. Wherever true intelligence is not needed, they will emerge. So where else will they emerge?
Software and the machines will be everywhere, in every job, and they will be there all the time. 24 / 7 / 365. They won’t be able to do everything, but they will be everywhere. In a presentation last week, the doctor covered a dozen different areas we’ll see them today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that … just in Procurement alone. And these weren’t all the examples. We won’t cover them all in this blog (and if you want to know them all, keep your eyes out for an upcoming talk), but we will cover one today.
Specifically, once invisible buying is out of the way, one area they will considerably invade the average Procurement organization is through tail spend minimization. Not only will invisible buys take a chunk out of organizational tail spend, but all of that calculation will also identify
- other buys that fit the MRO / regular re-order pattern that should be put under contract / rate card and left to invisible buys
- buys that are becoming significant and should be analyzed for strategic sourcing
Not everything will fit in these 3 categories, but a big chunk will … and then further enhancements will take more and more out of tail spend until it becomes a vanishingly small part of organizational spend compared to what it is today. So watch for the future, it’s coming faster than you think.