procurement technology

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

Calling All Procurement Tech Vendors!

Spend Matters ‘50 Procurement Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Procurement Providers to Watch

If you’re a procurement technology provider familiar with SIG and the Global Executive Summit this fall, we hope you’ve also heard of us at Spend Matters.

If not, we won’t fault you. 

Spend Matters is the leading global procurement technology media, analyst and research firm. Combining daily news coverage with subscription research, deep technology analysis, and one-to-one advisory services, Spend Matters provides meaningful insight and tailored solutions for procurement buying organizations, consultants, investors and solution providers. 

Each year, Spend Matters releases the annual ‘50 Procurement Providers to Know’ and ‘50 Procurement Providers to Watch’ lists. The lists are made up of — you guessed it — 100 vendors determined by the entire Spend Matters analyst team to represent the best of the commercial providers that serve enterprise-level procurement organizations. Plus, the ‘Future 5’ list — 5 outstanding procurement technology startups with innovative technology prowess, momentum and staying power. 

This year marks the sixth annual release of the ‘50 to Know’ and ‘50 to Watch’, and we are beyond thrilled to be doing it LIVE in conjunction with the SIG Global Executive Summit. The lists will be published on Tuesday, October 12. Any vendor present at the Summit who is also on one of the lists will receive their award plaque (in person!) from Spend Matters. We’re excited to pose for photos with those vendors present and share the good news all over Spend Matters social accounts.

Morgan Zombolas, Marketing Engagement Manager, Spend Matters

This Month at SIG – January 2021

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

Happy New Year! We kick 2021 off with sustainable procurement for executives and training resources that will elevate your team to excellence for the New Year.


Sustainable Procurement Strategies for 2021

Executives are invited to attend SIG’s next CPO & Executive Virtual Series on January 13 for open-mic discussions on sustainable procurement, enabling growth through partnership and innovation, and how to nurture talent and culture.

Jumpstart Your 2021 Strategy

Sourcing and procurement professionals learned a lot in 2020: The importance of making supply chains and operations nimbler, how to digitize your processes and mitigating unforeseen risk were all key lessons. Get a jumpstart to your 2021 with a SIG University certification.

Delivered entirely online, a certification can be completed in five, six, 10 or 12 weeks depending on the area of study. Programs start in January and February. Prefer to go at your own pace? Inquire about the new self-paced option.

New Contributors Wanted

Future of Sourcing, SIG’s flagship digital publication, is looking for new contributors. Once you've reviewed the editorial calendar and the contributor guidelines, reach out to pitch us an article. You have the choice to submit articles on a regular cadence or you can submit whenever you feel inspired. Contributors are encouraged to subscribe to Future of Sourcing's email newsletter, which is delivered to readers twice a month.

Desmond Williams, Digital Marketing Coordinator

2021 – The Year of Bringing Buying To the Board Room

It is hard to believe 2021 is at our doorstep, and while the immediate future is uncertain, the mid-to long-range outlook is virtually unknown. What we thought would be a ‘two-week’ work-from-home in March, has turned into a full-blown pandemic, and with it, the uncertainty surrounding it. Now, with a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks breathing down our necks, tough times are here again.

As procurement professionals, we are, by nature, resilient. The toughest of times takes the strongest leadership and most innovative strategies. The pandemic and the consequences of it provided a proving ground for the often-overlooked sourcing and procurement team.  Over the past year, sourcing and procurement became the lynchpin for many organizations’ survival, securing critical business and PPE-related goods and services to keep businesses afloat and employees protected. Throughout, procurement professionals were working tirelessly to create innovative cost savings and expense reduction opportunities when other departments went right to cutting staff and payroll.

At a time when the needs of the business are buoyed through critical sourcing and procurement activities, there is, perhaps, no more important function to a business.

Procurement Myth Versus Reality

Unfortunately, not everybody understands that. Many business stakeholders still think of sourcing and procurement as tactical purchasing and contract administrators, or bottlenecks that create delays in the buying process and upset suppliers. In reality, sourcing and procurement is really about negotiating critical multi-million-dollar contracts and finding the right supply chain partners to mitigate the significant risk in today’s market. Critical, not just in savings, but in the essential value and impact you have on the business. 

Sam Vail, Managing Partner, LogicSource

SIG Speaks to Sheena Smith, Managing Director of North America, Spend Matters

What is your role and what are your day-to-day responsibilities? 

I just transitioned into a new role as Managing Director of North America. We purposefully chose a nebulous title because every day looks different for me and my role is pretty much a catch-all! Some days I'm head-down on internal company strategy (I still lead our client and commercial teams from behind the scenes), other days I work directly with our clients on anything from technology selection projects to jointly running global CPO surveys.

What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement? 

 That it touches EVERYTHING. When I started with Spend Matters 10 years ago, I had no idea that procurement was “a thing.” I wish people thought about how their everyday items from socks to cell phones are made, built, assembled and sourced. I also wish people understood how sophisticated the sourcing and procurement process has the potential to be. It’s so far beyond steak dinners with “key” suppliers and fiddling about with spreadsheets. There's some amazing stuff happening out there with technology and process, and people are thinking bigger to drive it.

In your opinion, what are 3 skills that sourcing and procurement professionals of tomorrow must have? 

 1) Sales – Hear me out. Procurement is a sales team for a lot of reasons: negotiations internally and externally, selling new internal processes, understanding pain points of teams and suppliers...the list is endless. Being able to “sell” an agenda, a tool, a process or an initiative is key.

Sheena Smith, Managing Director of North America, Spend Matters

Innovation Hall: Spotlight on Procurement Technology Providers

Procurement providers at the SIG Procurement Technology Summit

At the SIG Procurement Technology Summit, attendees will experience the latest procurement technology in a virtual Innovation Hall. These companies are using artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation to elevate the role of procurement, ignite innovation and impact the world.  

Featured here are company overview, solution overview, and company approach and process to help you learn more about the following virtual Innovation Hall technology providers:

Stacy Mendoza, Senior Marketing Manager

3 Sourcing and Procurement Trends for 2020

SIG's CEO and President Dawn Tiura shares her thoughts on the sourcing and procurement trends that she predicts will move the needle for our profession in the next year.

As we settle into the holidays and celebrate with family and friends, we also look to a new decade. Absent a downturn economy, it’s hard for some to understand the importance of a strong procurement and sourcing organization. But we are so much more than just a cost-savings industry. While we are seen as an overhead, we really are the engine that keeps the company on course.

Rather than looking back at all the gains our industry has achieved this year, here are my thoughts on some of the exciting trends that I believe will pick up momentum in the next year.

1. Elevating the Role of Strategic Sourcing

Without strategic sourcing, we would not be able to improve cost, quality and service levels while guarding against third-party risk. Without the strength of our negotiations, contract development, business insights and supplier relationship management, we would fail on safeguarding our supply chains against human trafficking, conflict minerals and child labor.

I’m seeing more interest in third-party risk management from boards and company executives, and in my conversations with them, it’s clear that more resources will be devoted to supporting sustainability initiatives and the ability to act on business insights.

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

SIG Speaks Weekly Briefing - December 9

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

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

Spend Matters has released Q4 Services Procurement Vendor rankings

In 2.5 years since the first release, procurement professionals have referenced Spend Matters’ SolutionMap procurement technology benchmark rankings over 112,000 times, with the Accelerator toolkit gaining rapid traction to inform procurement technology selections:

“We didn’t have enough process and technology knowledge to identify our requirements for a P2P transformation. We wanted to include enough leading practice into our phase 1 assessment, recommendation and business case…You really helped us narrow the population.” — Senior Director, Supply Market Insight

Read all about the Q4 launch here or view the free procurement tech benchmark rankings here.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Manager