Last week we noted that 2020 is fast approaching and asked what you had accomplished, especially given all the 2020 predictions that were made five to ten years ago.
But then we didn’t wait for the answer, we gave it to you because, simply put, most of the vendors haven’t advanced the technology to where it was supposed to be and, as a result, you haven’t really obtained much in the way of new functionality.
We were told that, by 2020, software would be smart. It would do most of our work for us. Tactical would be a thing of the past as process, and, most importantly paperwork, would be completely automated and electronic. But, alas, we’re still in the situation where you have to manually define RFX processes, manually identifier suppliers, and manually build cost models. What’s up with that?
So what can we get?
Continuing on yesterday’s theme, more than we expect if we are willing to go best-of-breed along-side our primary S2P, get good at integration, and better yet at value identification and management. We do have the ability to do the following, with specific platforms in specific circumstances.
Automated Supplier Discovery
Why do you have to manually find, identify, qualify, and select suppliers for each and every RFI you do? When the platform should know the suppliers we’re using? The supplies we invited to bid last time? The suppliers that were pre-qualified as viable options? The suppliers that have registered with the products and services you need? The suppliers in the network platform you use? The suppliers your co-opetition have vetted for you? And so on.
Based upon the RFI, your particular product and service requirements, your supplier history, your community history, and so on, your platform should be able to use machine learning and advanced AI techniques to identify the best suppliers for your AI given all of your needs, the supplier’s performance history, the supplier’s current financial and CSR status, and available community data. But most platforms today can’t even suck in a default list of suppliers? Why … it’s NOT that hard.
RFX Process Automation
Most platforms allow you to define templates that define survey questions, basic cost models, and basic gated flows on registration and participation, but that’s about it. When it comes time to starting a new event, it’s up to you to find the closest template, alter the questions, cost models, and gated flows, double check everything, and drive it. But why?
Why can’t the platform identify the right questions based upon the specific products and services? The right gated flows based upon the industries, categories, geographies, and raw materials? The right models based upon the constituent raw materials, development processes, and level of cost detail available? The right starting data from market indexes? Most of this just requires the right rules, and last generation machine learning. Very little tactical effort should be required in an average RFX process, especially if you’ve sourced a similar product before.
And this is not the end of the road … but not all of this is in your average S2P platform.