Every industry and market space goes through constant evolutions. Consider the state of the stock market. We’re seemingly a millennium removed from the days of ‘the stock floor’ being a sea of people throwing their tickets in the air. Today, on the other hand, nearly the entire stock market is virtual. Other spaces as well have been completely revamped by the introduction of technology, evolving practices all throughout the economy. Procurement is one of the largest aspects of a big business, and its organization-wide impact garners a lot of attention from business professionals. With that, here’s a guide to the procurement technology trends that are expected in 2021 and beyond compared to purchasing and supply chain management in 2020.

Risk Management 

Risk management is one of the most important aspects of any business, but this is even amplified when it comes to procurement. Risk management is the process of evaluating the risk exposure of any particular business activity. This gets a little bit complicated because the goal with risk management isn’t always reducing risk to 0. Rather, it’s a strategy in which a firm attempts to balance the high-risk activities that they take on, with low-risk activities. That way, the cumulative risk is reduced, while the opportunity for reward is exponentially increased. 

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

The triple bottom line is a unique term that has grown in popularity over the past 10 years or so. The triple bottom line refers to the core components and goals of any organization. Traditionally, the triple bottom line was known as simply, ‘the bottom line’, and specifically referred to the financial health of an organization. The triple bottom line, however, is an expansion of this definition which folds both a social and environmental focus into the definition. 

Ultimately, this creates a more comprehensive outlook that managers and decision-makers within that organization are able to utilize to make strategic, tactful, and data-driven decisions. 

Advancing Technologies

In the same way that industries evolve, the technologies that impact them evolve as well. This is certainly the case with procurement software, as modern procurement software is both robust in features and capabilities and sophisticated in its build. Consider the various technologies that power procurement software. There is, of course, data and spend analysis that is conducted by the internal ‘brain’ of the machine, as well as a whole suite of automation functionality to streamline business operations, and artificial intelligence, or AI, to further enhance data analysis. 

This concert of various technologies that procurement software utilizes creates a space in which procurement staff is able to turn their attention toward more impactful business activities. This leads to streamlined operations, more efficient organizations, and actually even takes the weight off your employee’s shoulders. 

Global Supply Chains & The International Economy

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world learned how volatile and fragile our supply chains truly are. The mental image of a barren grocery store with a mile-long line wrapping around the building will never disappear, and it’s one that carries a lot of power. 

As such, procurement professionals and procurement software developers have had to find inventive ways to prepare for similar breakdowns of the global supply chain that could eventually happen again. But COVID-19 isn’t the only hurdle that procurement staff is working to clear. In the UK, procurement staff is still trying to swim in the wake of Brexit and the supply chain challenges that has brought. In the US, as well, there are procurement challenges regarding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as well as the ongoing ‘tariff war’ between the US and China. 

The procurement industry is a massive one, and extremely vital to the normal operations of an organization. Having your thumb on the pulse of procurement technology trends, and what to expect from your procurement software in 2021 and beyond will give you an edge in optimizing the way that your organization approaches and manages procurement efforts. 

For more information on the procurement technology trends in 2021 and beyond, keep browsing ProcurePort. ProcurePort is the internet’s premier place for everything procurement, from knowledge and information to software and technology, and everything in between.