The procurement organizations that I talk to are very interested in using artificial intelligence (AI) to enrich the source-to-pay process with relevant and real-time information. But there is still a lot of head scratching around the concept. What problems could it actually solve? How exactly would it work? How would it change the way things are done?
For anyone asking these questions, I encourage you to ground your thinking in two truths. First, AI is not science fiction. It is here and now. In fact, Accenture is actively enhancing our procurement platforms with our Procurement Market Intelligence Advisor. It helps to eliminate the manual task of searching for information, accelerating the process and increasing the relevancy of the information found.
Second—and you may be surprised to hear this from me of all people—the story of AI in procurement is not a pure technology play. The power of AI comes from people and digital together. AI uncovers relevant and new information fast. Procurement experts turn this information into critical insights, creatively applying it to solve novel problems. In my observation, people often underestimate the value of human judgement, something no machine can replicate today.
Here’s how the Procurement Market Intelligence Advisor works. It crawls unstructured text across thousands of digital sources—thousands of times faster than humans could. It extracts key patterns with advanced machine learning techniques and text analytics to provide procurement professionals with laser-focused supplier intelligence with automated narration capabilities. And because the Advisor is continually learning, the accuracy and relevance of information, and the speed of retrieval, is improving all the time.
While it is still early days, I am excited to share how we are using this innovative tool today:
As our people and our clients learn more about how Artificial Intelligence can transform the way they work, we look forward to building and exploring breakthrough use cases that should bring the next wave of people-digital power to procurement.