As we close out the year, it’s safe to say that it has been a whirlwind 12 months in the world of procurement and procuretech. Richard Carlson, author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, once said, “Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful tools for success.” so we wanted to reflect on some of our favorite parts of 2022, and what they mean for the profession and the industry.
(1)The year begins with digital transformation as a top priority, again
Ardent Partners, Procuretech.co, Gartner and several others rank procurement digitization as a top trend for 2022.
The trend towards digital procurement solutions continues in earnest. More and more organizations see the benefits of using procuretech solutions, such as improved efficiencies, greater transparency, better cost savings, flexibility and scalability.
Industry leaders state digital procurement has moved from a “nice to have” to a “must have” as business partially comes out of COVID and a supply chain challenged 2021. The energy we saw in the procuretech space in previous years continues.
Our prediction is that digital procurement transformation will again be a top trend, in 2023. It is not too late to lead your organization’s digital procurement transformation. In the spirit of reflection, what is keeping your organization from making this year the year it transforms?
(2)Talk of transitory inflation diminishes, and procurement’s role is elevated
By Q1, the economic environment gets very tough, yet we see procurement leaders rise to the challenge, elevating the profession along the way. Those that have already leveraged digital tools have tech that enables enterprise visibility, real time pricing data, rapid supplier identification and risk assessment. Procurement teams come prepared to supplier negotiations and internal “margin protection” meetings. Play books are written in real-time while procurement teams are now sitting in senior level meetings. The talent and skill these leaders have is brought to the forefront and will stay there as the market likely remains volatile.
(3) It’s not just supplier management anymore
Supplier management is an age-old term and important procurement function. This year, the combination of market dynamics, bold procurement leaders, and powerful procuretech options morphs supplier management into supplier value creation. Procuretech automates many touch points, and provides reporting that eliminates time spent on auditing, compliance, and tactical supplier processes, for both parties. Supplier meetings now include co creating solutions, exploring new innovations, predictive planning and strategic alliances.
(4)Supplier diversity …and discovery
By March, Fortune 200 companies have committed to spending more than $50B with minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) by 2030.
Additionally, the Supplier.io’ s State of Supplier Diversity report for 2022 shows the highest level of new program formation, more than any other year tracked by the report, demonstrating that there is true traction in this area.
And as the saying goes, businesses can do well by doing good. A McKinsey study found that “companies sourcing from MWBEs reported benefitting from increased innovation, competitiveness, and resilience, while realizing a year-over-year cost savings of 8.5%”.
Tech solutions for supplier discovery leverage basic automation and AI to help find and select diverse suppliers, fast. Solutions like Arkestro, Tealbook, Scoutbee and others offer functionality that allow users to predefine their criteria for search, based upon various supplier attributes. Gone are the days when businesses are unable to find diverse suppliers that can meet requirements.
We expect diverse suppliers will be in a position to meet and exceed requirements, and be a catalyst for new ideas.
(5)Procurement, a magnet for talent
Throughout the year procurement was in the news, and in the boardroom bringing new visibility to the profession. Meeting strategic goals, impacting business performance, and the ability to influence sustainability in supply chains brought the added element of positioning procurement as meaningful work. In Ardent Partners State of Procurement and the CPO report, procurement executives said the impact of their work has been either “game – changing” or “significant”. Layer in the move to leverage digital tools and a competency in data analytics and the profession becomes even more attractive, even to Gen Z.
As our Chief Wonder Officer noted while speaking at a procurement event this year, it’s a great time to be in procurement!
(6)The event circuit back in full force
Speaking of events, this year was marked by the success of a series of in-person procurement events; large in person conferences with kick off speakers, panels, supplier demos, and face to face robust discussions about challenges and successes. We broke bread together, entertained and networked, reconnecting with old friends and building new substantive relationships. The procurement event industry is strong, the procurement and procuretech community is growing, and as a result, more and more impact will be made.
Check out our social channels or sign up for our newsletter for event top take aways.
(7) Industry thought leaders get recognized
The profession was higher-profile this year, as were some of the professionals who love and influence the space.
As more evidence that this procurement thing is really gaining traction, readership and an interest in the discipline grows.
Check out the list that was published of those to follow in 2023.
(8) The Procuretech 100 was released
The Procuretech 100 list is selected from over 4000 digital tools. After significant analysis using proprietary data and the combined experience of over 70 procurement leaders, the winners are selected based on customer centricity, agility, scale and growth. You can find the list here. So many options, so much potential to be reached in 2023.
(9) Two of our partnerships became official
Deploying procurement technology has many components, and a deep understanding of the technology brings far better results. That’s one reason we do a deep dive on the tech and work to build relationships with procuretech partners.
This year we were pleased to announce partnerships with two of the technologies we help deploy and adopt, Arkestro and Focal Point. Together we’ve been able to deliver returns to our mutual customers, and share an aligned vision of delighting customers and delivering sustained results.
(10)The future is bright!
We couldn’t recap the year without noting Wonder Services’ milestones this year.
In 2022, we expanded our team and our business offerings, launched a new website, became WBENC certified, our CWO hit 15,000 followers on Linkedin, and last, but certainly not least, we served over 50 new stakeholders on our quest to bring digital transformation success to procurement teams and their organizations.
The year has not been without its challenges, but this list shows a lot of good happened this year as well. We love the profession and have seen throughout the year how procurement and procuretech leaders have driven change, helped stakeholders, team members and suppliers, and navigated a tough market, all in their quest to make a difference.
The future is bright.
We predict 2023 is the year love takes center stage in business.
We’ll certainly be doing our part to make that the case. Wonder was born and built out of love. Curious? Want to hear more? Send us a note!