Three Leading Technology Tools for Procurement/Purchasing Officers
Technology continues to impact our day-to-day work lives to an ever-increasing degree. Procurement officers must use technology tools to keep pace with the rapidly advancing technological world to ensure that they remain ahead of their competition. New advancements in Purchasing and Procurement allow for increasing gains in efficiency and cost reduction.
Below we outline three emerging technology tools and explain why it is essential for a modern Procurement Officer to understand how to integrate them into the supply chain.
Advances in 3D Printing
Over the last decade, 3D printing has solidified as a key component of the manufacturing industry. Its versatility is unmatched, with the freedom to print virtually any shape and design, from drill bits to jet engines. Procurement Officers will need to consider how to implement 3D printing into the supply chain process to maximise the positive impact it has on their business.
As a direct manufacturing process, 3D printing allows for incredibly precise designs to be realised with ease to maximise resource efficiency and minimise waste. Where previously an object had to be carved from a larger block of raw material, leading to offcuts and waste, 3D printers can produce the same object from the exact amount of material required. Further, in processes where mass production remains the cheapest and most efficient option, onsite 3D printing can also be used to support the manufacturing process by providing quick and easy access to replacement parts.
Emerging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Tools
By 2030 Artificial Intelligence could contribute a further US$15.7 billion to the global economy, driving growth in key areas such as operational efficiency, and reducing operating costs. Over the coming years, the technology savvy Procurement Officer will need to be well versed in the applications of emerging AI and machine learning technology. Supply chains will need to be optimised to forecast consumer demands, allowing for a more streamlined purchasing process.
In 2015, a US survey of over 800 procurement professionals found that 80% believe that predictive analytics would be the technology to have the largest impact in their field over the next five years. By using AI backed predictive models and purchasing software to more accurately model trends in consumer demands and behaviour, procurement officers will be able to fine-tune their procurements. Accurate forecasting models will reduce over-purchasing, and minimise storage costs during quieter periods, as well as allowing businesses to be adequately prepared to capitalise on rises in market demand.
Device Innovation Driven by The Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT encompasses the rapidly growing network of interconnected devices. In an age where just about everything can be connected to the internet, Procurement Officers who are able to utilise this network of smart devices and appliances will place their businesses ahead of the competition.
Connected devices can automatically monitor supply levels and send notifications as soon as orders need to be placed, or even independently placing orders themselves. Fully connected supply chain networks will be able to communicate around traffic scenarios and optimise delivery routes on the go. With almost endless possibilities for connectivity, the IoT will be an essential technology tool for innovative Procurement Officers.
Consider a career in Purchasing and Procurement
For anyone considering the exciting career prospects available as a Procurement Officer, familiarising yourself with these technological tools is an important part of meeting the demands of this steadily growing job function.
As technology continues to move forward, the supply chain industry will evolve alongside it, and the Procurement Officers who are well placed to utilise these emerging technological tools in effective ways will remain at the forefront of their industries.
A Diploma of Business (Procurement) (BSB50120) is the first place to start in securing the career know-how that you need.