Search Icon


procurecon event email banner 01 04

ProcureCon CPO Connect 2021 – Benchmark your Digital Transformation Strategy

By  Susanne Schmied, Marketing Executive  on  1 Dec 2021

As sponsors of the invite-only forum, which brought together senior-level decision-makers from the largest companies worldwide, Rosslyn discussed some of the prime digital initiatives that industries can access to benchmark and enhance their digital strategies.

The agenda of this year’s event focused on finding innovative digital ways to create value and support growth, whilst achieving risk mitigation and resilience.

Rosslyn’s Head of PreSales Sam Clive answered a range of questions on the topic ‘How can you empower your procurement team to use the latest digital transformation technologies and focus on value-add tasks?’. This was followed by a roundtable discussion with counterparts from Shell, SSE, and Kyndryl.


Here are some of the key questions and answers from the panel:

Q1: What innovation opportunities do you see linked to the digital revolution and the evolution of your company’s business models?

Sam: “A keyword here is value. There are ample opportunities for Procurement to be seen as adding value and not just reducing cost. As more data becomes available, innovation is shaped around transforming that data from its raw form into insights and ultimately actions. Actions that support the wider strategic goals of the business, support the alignment of sustainability and encourage smarter supply chain management. If procurement teams can make more sense of the data landscape of the organisation's spend that provides opportunities to grow the profile of procurement in the organisation and ultimately inform strategic imperatives and not be driven by it.

There are only 3 things we know with certainty about the future in the digital space: firstly, the volume of data available to us is going to continue to grow at incredible rates. Secondly, computer processing power is going to increase to handle these larger data volumes but most importantly the third part is that humans will remain essentially the same. Therefore, innovation will largely gain the most value in how it deals with the first two elements to support the third.”

Q2: With regards to data, how can we monetise the output of what procurement does to create something new of value?

Sam: “A similar point to the first one. Distinguishing cost saving from value generation. Procurement is uniquely placed to hold critical data points which if correctly interpreted can tell a much wider story about the health of a supply chain as well as the procuring organisation.

Unlocking unique insights and understanding elements about a data set that others don’t or can’t see is critical to unlocking value. For instance, certain patterns in a supply chain are flagged as better indicators to understand certain types of risk.

Better understanding between the relationships of publicly available data and organisation specific data can also be key to unlocking unique value-based insights. For example, certain third-party data may have a profoundly different implication when overlaid with company X’s data compared to company Y. Understanding these relationships can add completely new dimensions to ‘standard’ publicly available data sets.”

Q3: Where do you see the best opportunities for tech advances to free up the time of procurement teams for strategic thinking?

Sam: ”A crucial opportunity is automating the time sucks. Those tasks take an inordinate amount of time and are essentially the heavy lifting part of the process. Engineering these bigger operational tasks will naturally free up time for strategic thinking.

Flexibility in data structures also supports this. By not being bound to traditional data models, which enforce a way of thinking driven by a decision made in the past about structuring data, allows a view of data from new perspectives. Finally, building proactive analytics experiences where tech can provide some initial insights to build on also supports this. Whether that’s finding patterns in data that might have taken a person some time to uncover or simply surfacing packages of insights to allow the people that deeply understand their organisation and markets to make better decisions or interrogate the data to dig deeper.

The opportunities are best served by looking at where people spend the most time. A fast amount of time is lost on getting the data into good health and extracting it into tools that weren’t necessarily built for it. Freeing up time will encourage people to spend more time asking questions of the data in terms of what it’s telling us and surfacing actionable insights.

Data breadlines are an important consideration. A typical data extraction process starts with a request to the people that ‘own the data’ e.g., the IT team. After several days of waiting the data extract would be received. But what if that extract is not quite right? The process will start afresh, yet the request now joins the queue of other people’s requests, resulting in more wait time. This is called the data breadline.

This process is common across industries. If you have a question about your data, you should be able to answer that without relying on other teams which have different priorities from yours.

lightbulb 2

Is your organisation’s procurement function ready to add value through innovation?

Contact us today to find out how Rosslyn can increase your organisation’s performance and empower your procurement teams through the latest digital technologies, whilst providing higher resilience and risk management.