Corporate procurement can be one of the most difficult processes a business undertakes. Businesses must ensure that they are able to get the resources they need in order to deliver their own products and services to customers. The face of corporate procurement has changed recently, particularly with the evolution of business-to-business strategies and the use of technological systems. While these elements can present new challenges for procurement officers, there are a few strategies decision-makers can leverage to ensure success.
Study shows shift in corporate procurement
“The face of corporate procurement has changed recently, particularly with the evolution of business-to-business strategies and the use of technological systems.”
According to Acquity Group’s 2014 State of B2B Procurement study, processes have shifted when one business attempts to negotiate the purchase of products and services from another organization.
The study found that technology had a considerable role in this shift, creating new purchasing options as well as challenges for businesses on both sides of the corporate procurement transaction. Research shows that 68 percent of B2B buyers now make the majority of their procurement purchases online. This is a significant increase from the 57 percent of purchasing officers who engaged in online procurement in 2013. The study also showed that respondents leveraged 90 percent or more of their procurement budget online, increasing two-fold from the amount spent on procurement ecommerce in 2013.
In addition to a shift in the way items are procured, companies are now leveraging technology to do the bulk of their procurement research as well. The study found that buyers investigate 90 percent of procurement products online before buying, and 44 percent of participants utilized a mobile device for this research. This is an abundant change of pace for the procurement process, especially considering that buyers researched only 22 percent of items online in 2013.
“B2B buyers in the United States are more active online than ever before, spending more time and company dollars in the digital space,” the report stated. “In the face of an increasingly competitive omni-channel environment, the B2B supplier industry must adapt to attract and engage today’s savvy B2B buyers, increase revenue and capitalize on ripe digital growth opportunities.”
Top challenges seen with corporate procurement
Corporate procurement no doubt comes with its share of unique challenges. Some, including the following pointed out by Spend Matters Network, are more prevalent and impactful than others:
Tips for successful corporate procurement
Despite these challenges, there are businesses that have experienced success with their corporate procurement strategies. These effective habits include:
Overall, corporate procurement can present both challenges and opportunities for businesses. Having effective solutions in place, such as those available from iT1 Source can help streamline the process, reduce complexity and ensure success.