digital transformation

Combining Intelligent Automation Techniques for Strategic Digital Transformation

Intelligent Automation Techniques

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Tom Conti shares the four crucial areas to turn your tactical RPA initiative into a strategic Intelligent Process Automation program.


 While an organization's digital transformation journey may include Intelligent Process Automation, it is only one of the components necessary to influence disruptive organizational change. But what is Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)? At its core, Intelligent Process Automation is the tactical or strategic application of technology to automate a process. This might include loading data, orchestrating different areas of work, or automating repetitive tasks. When properly implemented, an organization can achieve many benefits by using IPA, such as reducing operating costs, enhancing the customer experience, reducing risk, or improving compliance adherence.  

The Four Areas for RPA Definition

There are four central areas to consider when defining the objective of the transformation program to evoke disruptive change. These areas include Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the automation technologies available, process excellence, and change management. When executed together, these techniques offer the greatest return on investment when implementing an IPA program to address the defined business objective. 

First, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is a tactical approach to beginning a transformative intelligent automation journey. RPA is best suited where productivity is the primary driver, where simple, rules-based processes can be applied. Often, digital and structured inputs are utilized in RPA processes as little variation is observed within the process where it would make RPA a disagreeable approach.

Tom Conti, Solutions Consultant, Canon Business Process Services

How AI Will Transform Procurement

procurement transformation with ai

Procurement is entering a new era of increasing complexities in which traditional measures of success such as cost savings are no longer the sole focus.

Instead, and as reported in the Deloitte 2021 CPO Survey, "changing business dynamics and increasing layers of complexity" and corresponding "expectations" are transforming the way the industry thinks and acts.

For example, new and more challenging areas such as "climate change, geopolitical stability," and "increasing societal expectations" are now part of the new equation.

The introduction of these emerging variables is causing organizations to re-examine their digital transformation strategies, including how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help them address the industry's challenges.

The SIG Survey

In 2021 SIG surveyed 100 procurement professionals from Fortune 500 and Global 1000 organizations on digital transformation and AI in procurement.

Based on the results, it is clear that those responding to the survey believe that "procurement's priorities lie with how AI technology can streamline the roles and processes to deliver meaningful and sustainable results."

Unfortunately, and despite the opportunity for more significant gains, the survey reports that "several obstacles" make it difficult for organizations to "bridge the divide" between the promise of digital AI and the realization of its optimal benefits.

Crossing the Divide

Understanding the importance of AI and identifying the challenges with realizing its potential to redefine and empower procurement to achieve critical objectives is the first step to crossing the aforementioned divide.

Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics

This Month at SIG – May 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we kick-off SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date with Procurement’s rebirth.


Procurement Technology Summit 

The 2021 Procurement Technology Summit will pioneer a new era for sourcing leaders and their teams to transform the future of procurement. Come prepared to engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking, and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

This year’s agenda includes a really unique line-up of keynote speakers who are covering key Procurement topics like design thinking, diversity & inclusion, the future of technologies and building a high-performing team.

We’re inviting SIG’s buy-side members and their ENTIRE TEAM to attend. Yes, you read that right! Whether you’re a team of two or 200, everyone on your team gets to attend for free!

The Summit will take place May 4 – 6 and will be 100% online, so you can attend sessions as it fits your schedule.  You do not want to miss this event, so register today and get ready to be impressed! 

 

Thought Leadership Webinars 

Making Invisible Visible: What is Preventing Progress on Women in Leadership?

May 12 
Presented by: Oliver Wyman

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Manager

This Month at SIG – April 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we host our April SIGnature Event, have a host of exciting industry research and training to keep you up to date, and registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.


Geofencing of Employees, Onshoring and More - The New Normal

There’s still time to register for our upcoming digital SIGnature Event on April 21. The theme for the event is The New Normal. Senior-level and above delegates will participate in an executive roundtable hosted by Oliver Wyman to discuss energy transition and sustainable procurement.

Concurrent to the Executive Roundtable session will be an interactive panel discussion on Diversity & Inclusion, hosted by Janice Green, President & CEO , Women’s Business Enterprise Council Pacific (WBEC Pacific) .

Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit

Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!

Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

This Month at SIG – March 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we prepare for a new future in procurement, have a host of exciting industry research and webinars to keep you up to date, and we announce that registration is open for SIG’s Procurement Technology Summit.


Don't Miss These March Events

Why Does Procurement Take so Long? And How Can We Fix It?

Business stakeholders are continuously frustrated by how long procurement takes to bring suppliers on board. CPOs and senior executives are invited to join experts from App Orchid to learn innovative ideas for transforming the traditional procurement process within the organization.

Procurement: More than Savings

Join this open discussion with Canda Rozier, CIAP, Collabra Consulting and SIG University faculty, for her take on how procurement can best achieve value beyond just savings. This is your time to "Ask the Expert" as Canda has decades of experience on both sides of the business and is ready to share her insights based on trusted and tested methodologies.

 

Registration is Open: SIG Procurement Technology Summit

According to industry experts, procurement as a function will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Prepare yourself and your team for the future of business at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit May 4-6, 2021!

Registered buy-side attendees get FREE ACCESS to attend all keynote sessions, engage and learn from the brightest industry experts, connect through AI-powered speed networking and experience live solution deep-dives from best-in-class providers.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

This Month at SIG – February 2021

Here's your monthly update on the latest thought leadership, networking events and training with SIG.

This month we begin to build back stronger with leadership insight, industry research and webinars to keep you up to date.


Executive Leadership Education

Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Roundtable on February 24 for open-mic discussions on executive leadership and education, continuity of leadership and what skills the leaders of the future must develop.

GEP Outlook 2021 Report

For procurement leaders, there’s a lot more to do. And more questions than answers.

Get a big leg up with the GEP Outlook 2021 Report — featuring eight critical leadership themes that will help you navigate uncertainty and thrive in the new normal. Published annually, the GEP Outlook Report is a trusted strategic guide for thousands of procurement leaders across the world. Get your complimentary copy today.

Your Digital Procurement Expertise Checklist

The average working day in procurement will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. Are you prepared for digital procurement?

This checklist will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and find the right way to start a digital transformation of procurement. 

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Artificial Intelligence Can't Replace Human Interaction

Automation within procurement systems have developed.

SIG University Certified Sourcing Professional (CSP) program graduate Katherine Smith shares how lessons in the CSP program informed her during her company’s digital transformation.


One of the many areas of the CSP program that I found to be of great relevance for my role as a Procurement Specialist at Fannie Mae was the Lesson on Artificial Intelligence. Being of an older generation, I can remember working as a manager when there were no computers. Inventories were taken manually and then extended using calculators or adding machines. It was a significant step forward when we could automate that process.

Gone are the days of spending long hours on the phone reading off SKU numbers and quantities needed when placing orders for products, such as the food and paper supply needs of a hospital foodservice department. 

Katherine Smith, Sr. Contracts and Procurement Specialist, Fannie Mae

Successful Digital Transformation Requires an Inspection of all Business Processes

Procurement organizations are uniquely positioned to drive their companies' innovation agenda because no other function can “serve as the window to the outside world.

At the time of writing this piece, I am just one of five million people emerging from the world’s longest coronavirus-related lockdown, in Melbourne, Australia. For nearly two months, I was only allowed to leave the house once a day for essential items and required to stay within three miles of my home. From takeaway meals to IT support, to doctor’s appointments, most of the goods and services I've needed have been ordered virtually. Since COVID-19 hit, I’m amazed at how quickly the world went virtual.

Along with SAP colleagues and millions of workers globally, I’ve quickly adapted to working from home – connecting with others through virtual collaboration and networking tools. Imagine my surprise, then, when I received a notification in the mail that my driver’s license needed to be updated to reflect my correct birth date, requiring me to physically go to VicRoads, the DMV for the state of Victoria. How is it possible that under the strictest lockdown in the world, with thousands of workers operating remotely, I was still required to be physically present at the DMV to confirm my birth date and identity; especially knowing that the documents required could have easily been scanned and sent?

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the journey to digital transformation was underway across many industries. Whether through the purchase of large-scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) offered by companies like SAP, or through individual contracts with suppliers specializing in virtual banking, e-signatures, contracts or hiring, companies have taken steps to manage their businesses digitally. This move has paid off in the current environment.

Baber Farooq, Head of Product Strategy, SAP Procurement Solutions

Five Tips for Procurement to Improve Business Resiliency

 Improve Business Resiliency

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.” – Elizabeth Edwards

When I was a kid, we never said the word resilience, but we did use the word tough. Being tough is just what we need right now; toughness is our ability to spring back, even when the world around us crumbles (think COVID-19). Our resiliency grows every time we flex – just like a muscle in our body. Developing a resilient procurement team likely means you are “starting over” – or creating a fresh start in some areas of your procurement ecosystem. If you’re feeling stuck or unsure where to start, you aren’t alone. Below are five ways that Procurement can help improve business resiliency:

Greg Anderson - SVP of Sales at Denali

Procurement's Role in Digital and Agile Transformations

Procurement digital and agile transformation

There’s no question that companies are turning to technology to manage many facets of their operations, and procurement is no different. Adopting a technology platform to manage one business unit can result in positive changes, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. But what happens when a company decides to go through a complete agile and digital transformation?

Our client, College Board, decided to undertake such a sweeping change, and while they’re still on their journey, they are seeing positive outcomes across the organization. About five years ago, College Board saw successive changes in leadership with a new CIO coming in, followed by a new CPO. When they joined the team, College Board had disjointed technology – no department could communicate with another. So, the decision was made to jump into the deep end and take on a complete agile and digital transformation.

Building a Movement

The agile transformation, which would ultimately lead to the digital transformation, required a culture change at College Board. They knew behaviors had to change, both individually and companywide. There was a serious need for collaboration and cross-functional teams to remove the silos each department was in, which could be fostered by new technologies.

And College Board’s 1,800 employees and 250 contractors had to be on board. So, it all started with leadership. The organization’s forward-thinking CIO and CPO laid out clearly defined goals and strategies. Setting the example that this would be successful went a long way in encouraging employee buy-in.

Shashank Saxena, VNDLY CEO and Co-Founder

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