Which came first? Procurement’s transformation or technology’s?

Posted on March 22, 2018

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Editor’s Note: Here is the On-Demand Link To The Webinar: The Rise of Postmodern ERP & its Impact on Procurement

In the second poll from today’s webinar The Rise of Post Modern ERP & its impact on procurement, the following question was asked; How much will your role as a procurement professional change in the postmodern ERP era? No, the strikeout of the word procurement is not a typo. I will explain that momentarily.

The results of the poll were not necessarily surprising, but it did raise an interesting question. Specifically, is technology changing the procurement profession, or is the “profession” changing technology? More to the point is procurement’s maturation as a strategic practice within an organization the cause of the postmodern ERP era? 

Before I answer that question, here are the poll results:

Poll 2 Results

(20% – Somewhat, 60% Moderately, 20% Significantly)

What Begins At Home?

It turns out that besides charity, change also begins at home.

I have no doubt that the ease of our online buying experience at home had a tremendous influence on the procurement professional’s understanding and expectations for how technology can be better utilized to streamline the buying process in the workplace.

With the advent of newer more nimble and mobile technologies and the BYOD movement, it is clear that the ERP-centric procurement platforms were relegated to the realms of the old mainframes by us with Gartner’s reference to them as “legacy systems” merely an after-the-fact formality. In this context, the change we are now experiencing in the procurement world was not initiated by the end of the ERP era, we merely hastened its transformation to a back-end repository system through our advancement. In short, what enabled us to remove the ERP shackles that, according to Gartner “limited what purchasing could do” was OUR experience using technology at home to acquire goods and services for ourselves.

 “As the transformation takes place I think looking back Purchasing professionals will be surprised how much the ERP system actually limited what purchasing could do.” – Does Gartner’s “Postmodern” ERP moniker put a positive spin on what is, in reality, the equivalent of technology landfill? Procurement Insights, December 6th, 2014

As for the striking out of the word procurement, we have to continue to remove all of the other barriers to our realization of what it really means to be in this profession by redefining our roles and acquiring expertise outside of the traditional boundaries that have confined us to a transactional framework. In other words, we have to continue to be the originators and influencers of change whether it begins at home or at work.

As soon as I have the on-demand link to the Webinar, I will share it here with you. A big thank you to Amber Christian, who was my guest on the Zycus Webinar. Check out #PostERP for more poll results on Twitter.

Main Banner Image Source: The HCI Group

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