It is the year 2017, January to be exact, what a great moment to talk about Procurement and Strategic Sourcing and how big data and Artificial Intelligence grab hands and take it to the next level. The concept of analyzing big chunks of data and using algorithms may be rather new in some parts of business and this is getting a lot of fuzz. It is not new to marketing and procurement and strategic sourcing. Actually is being there for a long time. On Marketing a lot of market research has being done for decades, on strategic sourcing too and add algorithms to process all that. Procurement you can call it Spend analysis and category management. Big players in everyday procurement and strategic sourcing since they got a place in enterprise support functions.
What will be the “new” in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Procurement and strategic sourcing then? What can we say in this matter in the year 2017?
For starters capacity, when we say Big Data we really mean big! With today´s Nano technology, processors, data storage and cloud computing the capacity or size of chunks of data can be pretty impressive. Spend analysis which I remember back in the days will be a humongous task, now is live and far richer with detail. Category management was done with very few sub category levels, now you can really grind down data to an ultimate level, giving amazing visibility.
Similar to Big Data we have Artificial Intelligence with a level of decision making power that truly makes the “intelligence” bit stand out. Some people believe, that in the really far future, Artificial Intelligence can reach a level that the procurement and strategic sourcing can spare the humans. On this you can open a big can of debate, but still makes you think the power embedded.
Another thing is that tools for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are readily available and affordable than ever, making this a time to engage and take a piece of the action. Procurement as a process with procedures can use tools for a more efficient, strategic and effective output. Great time to get on the action.