5 Procurement Trends to Watch For in 2018

5 Procurement Trends to Watch For in 2018

As the world turns, the procurement playing field can shift dramatically.  For better or worse, international trends in consumer focus, economics, and politics impact what we do in the field of procurement.

Here are our top 5 procurement trends to watch for in 2018.

  1. The KISS rule.

When the pace of change is as blistering as it is in the current global environment, it’s comforting to know that some things never change – especially in procurement.

The Keep It Simple Stupid rule comes to mind!  What could be more compelling than the bedrock of procurement – cash flow and savings?  Those two factors have driven procurement and its interaction with clients since the dawn of time.

These are simple advantages that speak to executives and managers in terms they can understand and embrace.  And while it’s not so simple, technology promises to enhance these considerations.

  1. Technology still hot.

Supply chain leaders can expect more of new, hot technologies in the coming year.  Everything from machine learning, to the Internet of Things, robotics, and 3D printing are huge and surging, wherever you look.

Keeping pace with all that is a challenge.  Keeping abreast of where some of the newer technologies are going and how they impact procurement is a fulltime job.  Some of these innovations will grow in relevance, while others will fade.  It’s, therefore, crucial to keep your eye on the ball, where tech is concerned.

  1. The Brexit effect.

Because our global agreements cover North America and Europe, this is a big one.  Uncertainty over the impact of Brexit has prompted 63% of European countries to cut the UK out of their supply chains, entirely.  In the second quarter of 2017, investment in the UK flatlined.

With a referendum to reconsider Brexit now being floated, it’s anyone’s guess as to where this will land.  For the time being, supply chain relationships with the former EU member are tenuous, at best.

  1. The new credibility.

People everywhere want to know that they’re dealing with ethically-based suppliers.  And so, transparency and sustainability are key best practices that add up to the new credibility.

The granularity of consumer demand for exact and highly-specific information about what they buy is urging companies to comply to compete.  The market is being driven by a high demand for accountability about the origins and contents of products.  Again, technology is key to keeping pace with this demand to maintain market position.

  1. Go big or go home.

Big data is poised to become highly significant to the procurement process, moving forward.  The insights big data offers supply chain professionals can assist in predicting events which disrupt the chain, including consumer behavior.

This means collecting key information to be synthesized toward instigating predictive analytics, making procurement an almost clairvoyant undertaking.

CenterPoint Group is a trusted procurement advisor, leveraging $850 million of collective indirect spend that saves our customers on everyday purchases.

We’re a transatlantic presence, embracing North America and Europe.  Contact us to find out how we can lower your business costs.

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