Source: Oxford University
The software industry has invested heavily in the past ten years on developing Internet based software to support commodity procurement. Despite its critical impact on business performance there has been a much smaller emphasis on new tools and processes to support high value, high risk procurement transactions, although the area is now attracting more attention. This paper takes a deeper look at this new segment and those processes and tools which managers are using or plan to implement in meeting the growing emphasis in this area.
Traditionally such sourcing incidents have been one-off project based events requiring a great deal of flexibility to handle specifications and evaluation largely outside the day to day procurement activities of a firm. Sourcing for these strategic transactions have hence been primarily process driven supported only by generic spreadsheets, email and project management software. The assessment problems common to this space are generally accepted to be too complex for a linear thinking computer model to handle and thus it is generally the project manager or procurement director who has the responsibility to determine the option with the best value and lowest risk for their company.
Given the bespoke nature of such projects, tailored sourcing tools have been largely unused, as of yet, within this space. That is changing however as eSourcing solutions which have, to date, been focused on cost-based strategic sourcing. Vendors of e-sourcing solutions have now begun to look at the potential for specialized tools to meet the broader needs of procurement professionals. This latest breed of procurement technology will likely focus on those areas of decision support and evaluation which give procurement professionals greater capacity to make an informed decision, reduce workloads by automating processes, and maintain sufficient flexibility to accommodate any sort of project or organizational process that may arise.
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