While there can be a lot of buzzwords in our industry, there’s one that deserves the attention it’s currently getting. That is agile procurement.
adjective 1.able to move quickly and easily
At its core, agile procurement is about being responsive. Responsive to stakeholders, market conditions, suppliers, and supply chain events. Rather than a specific set of processes such as strategic sourcing, agile is more of a mindset that procurement teams should adopt.
One of the complaints about “traditional” procurement has been that it’s bureaucratic and overly-complicated. By adopting an agile approach, procurement teams can move toward the long-sought goal of being a trusted adviser to spend owners rather than a hindrance.
The time for agile procurement is now
It would be hard to find someone who says “I’m not really a fan of agile”, especially now. Here are a few key reasons to follow this trend:
- More flexible tools – in the days of the ERP, your systems needed to be configured one way to work correctly. Tools today are infinitely more flexible and configurable, allowing you to bend the technology to your needs instead of the other way around
- Increased information – whether it be internal spend visibility or third-party market intelligence, it’s easier now to get the information needed to make good decisions and respond more quickly to changes
- Faster developments in the marketplace – While we might now have the tools and information to respond more quickly, we are also required to by global events. From supply market disruptions to political events to regulatory developments, the “outside world” is requiring us to react more quickly
There are many sources for detailed information on agile procurement and why it matters, including the CPO Rising Procurement 2018 Trends & Predictions Roundtable Discussion here. However, the most important thing to remember about agile is its definition: “able to move quickly and easily”. At Scanmarket, we like to think that we’ve been agile all along. For twenty years, our focus has been making things easy and responding to what our customers and partners need.