Automate at scale to augment human talent

Having made solid progress automating transactional procurement tasks, procurement leaders recognize that automation is an important means to reducing costs. In fact, it ranks as the topmost critical factor in the digitization of business processes.

There has been a 5X increase in automation over the past three years.

The more that CPOs drive automation into their function—expanding its use beyond simple, transactional tasks—the more they will see its true value. Automation combined with AI make it possible for CPOs to build a very specialized human and machine workforce. It can free the human workforce to do more value-added and satisfying work.

For example, sourcing teams can pivot from transactional tasks, such as manually comparing supplier bids, to using their specialized expertise with markets, suppliers and stakeholders to assess suppliers’ responsible business practices and fit with the brand purpose. Also, intelligent agents can perform research at the category level, scanning contracts and other reports by using natural language processing to pull data together in digestible reports for humans.​

Commit to making data-driven decisions—with better data

Procurement leaders are beginning to recognize the impact that using data can have on their organization. A full 67% say that the company’s operating model is designed based on data rather than on executive experience and intuition.


of procurement leaders report widespread or full-scale use of data in their organizations today.


of procurement leaders expect to have data in wide use or use at scale in three years’ time.

There is no doubt that CPOs are well schooled on the topic of data. It’s at the heart of the work of procurement across sourcing, contracting and purchasing, especially as the function has become more digitized. In fact, the most advanced procurement organizations have shifted from managing spend to unleashing value, thanks to digital investments that have helped them extract insights from data. For them, data is an integral part of their operating model decision-making. Data-driven insights are key to understanding consumption patterns, ensuring that suppliers are following sustainable and ethical business practices, setting contract terms and pricing and more.

Scale cloud investments

Cloud is one of the most popular—and most important—technologies being applied in business today. The tremendous buzz around it is well deserved. Cloud is a cost-effective way to get flexible computing power so that businesses can compete at speed and scale. Procurement executives understand this and today 72% report that their organization has applied cloud at scale.

With e-procurement systems having been in the cloud for years, procurement has been using cloud-based solutions for core tasks for a long time. This positions CPOs to draw on their experience in leading by example and guide the enterprise in its move to cloud.

Client case study

Realizing $1B in savings

A consumer goods giant reinvented procurement by moving to a data-driven operating model.​ Learn more.

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Chad Gottesman

Managing Director – Operations, Procurement Business Process Services

Kristin Ruehle

Managing Director, Procurement Business Process Services Global Business Lead


Fast-track to future-ready performance
Unleash breakthrough value from spend

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