eProcurement & Procure-to-Pay Resources

Procurement Technology a Critical Driver in 2021 - Ardent Partners Research

Published February 10, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Ardent Partners recently released their “Procurement 2021: BIG Trends and Predictions”.  This is a must-read for any procurement executive.  The report analyzes current trends and offers predictions for the upcoming year.  The thorough analysis is driven from data uncovered by Ardent Partners research and briefings from various players in the procurement arena. The report delves into the impacts of the pandemic to the global economy and procurement, as well as the strategic role CPOs will play as companies shift their short-term focus.  While we offer some highlights, we highly recommend reading the full report, available on CPO Rising.

The Pandemic and Uncertainty

According to their research, “70% of all procurement teams have felt an ‘extraordinary’ or ‘significant’ impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.” For most procurement organizations, the height of the pandemic shifted the focus away from strategic planning to reaction.  As global supply chains ground to a halt, procurement had to uncover new ways to ensure supply in the face of uncertainty.

Ardent Partners’ research highlights the growing role that procurement has to their organization.  The report notes, “a majority of CPOs (53%) believe that their departments made a major or significant impact on the enterprise over the last 12 months, while another 42% believe that their impact was solid or notable.” 

Continued uncertainty will mean more reliance on the procurement team to uncover new and sustainable sources of supply. 

A Shifting Corporate Focus in the Short-Term

The report discusses the pivot that many companies made in the face of the pandemic, noting that, “Once the pandemic hit business needs immediately changed forcing CPOs to shift their focus to : (1) prioritizing cash management, (2) increasing savings, and (3) improving supply chain visibility.”  The shift to more core business operating principles made it critical for CPOs to look at activities with any towards savings. 

The research points to an increase in Procurement’s role, visibility and impact to the broader organization.   Both expectations and visibility are high for the team to deliver, with many CPOs reporting to the C-suite. 

Procurement and Technology are Critical in 2021

As the Ardent Partners’ report shifts to 2021 predictions, the role of Procurement and technology to overall business success is paramount.  The predictions highlight the importance of Procurement’s ability to execute against specific corporate financial strategies under more scrutiny than previously. Procurement will need to be focused and creative as CPOs struggle with global uncertainty and a need to operate more locally. 

Among the 2021 predictions from Ardent Partners is the roles that deep data analysis and strategic use of artificial intelligence will play, particularly in areas such as, “eSourcing and advanced sourcing, eProcurement, contract management and spend analytics.” 

To read the full Ardent Partners report, visit CPO Rising.  Ardent Partners actively covers the supply management marketplace and produces research to help business decision-makers understand (1) industry best practices and how to improve performance and (2) the technology landscape and how to identify the best-fit solution(s) for their specific needs.

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