What does “automating” procurement really mean and how do you achieve success with your initiative?

Posted on February 6, 2020


One of the most frequent questions procurement professionals, including CPOs, ask me is why, if automating procurement is so critical, do they struggle to realize the promise of going digital.

In this excerpt of an article, I wrote for the ProcurePort blog, I provide my take of why the results do not match the promise, and what needs to happen to ensure your digital procurement strategy is a success.

There remains a significant gap between the Haves and Have nots in the procurement space. Fortune 2000 companies have moved towards total digitization of all procurement processes (including experimentation with AI and Blockchain). However, the majority of the medium to large size enterprises are still struggling to implement procurement automation, even in its most basic forms. Excel, Word and email are still dominating the buyer/seller interaction for all transactions. – Jemin Patel, Director at ProcurePort

I don’t usually open an article with such a lengthy quote from a third party, let alone a service provider. However, I made an exception in Jemin Patel’s case. The reason for this exception is because of his comments regarding the struggle that organizations are having with implementing their “procurement automation” strategies. The fact that he referred to the continuing use of spreadsheets and email was also noteworthy.

The fact is that the successful implementation of a procurement automation initiative – otherwise known as the digital transformation of the supply chain, has little to do with a “features, functions, and benefits” analysis.

To be successful, you must look beyond the technology to assess your organization’s digital readiness and align yourself with the right partners to realize your objectives. The results of the recent Deloitte’s CPO survey (refer to the graphic below) give testimony to this necessity.

Deloitte CPO Survey 2019 2

Use the following link to access the entire article Procurement Automation and Why Looking Beyond the Technology is the Key to Success.



Posted in: Commentary