Increased Procurement Agility through Improved Mobile Connectivity
Procurement is becoming a more agile, interactive corporate function. In order to support this expanded outreach, we need instant access to information and a way to capture and preserve knowledge. Given the prevalence of mobile technology, procurement is quickly transitioning from a laptop-based function to one empowered by handheld smart devices.
In a recent article on CPO Rising, Matthew York describes mobility as one of a few key technological advances contributing to procurement agility. “This [mobility] is the essence of agility – being able to pick up the phone, respond to a late-breaking, fast-burning situation (or even just an after-hours inquiry), and move on. Mobile-first or, at the very least, mobile-ready business applications put the power of cloud-based, user-friendly business applications in the palm of one’s hand literally anywhere there is an internet connection, at any time of the day.”
While none of the actions listed above are new to procurement (we are accustomed to being on call and ready with a solution or an answer at a moment’s notice) the way in which York describes them being carried out calls attention to a new underlying assumption. Increasingly, procurement is just as likely to be out in the field as sitting at a desk. This means that all of the activities we have carried out in the past must now be supported by mobile devices and applications.
Procurement is leveraging new models for connectivity, and our demand for information is expanding as well. According to the 2017 Hackett Group Key Issues Study, the top activity (31% of respondents) being piloted or evaluated by procurement centers of excellence is supply market intelligence. This means that not only does procurement need to remain accessible even as we become more mobile, we also need increased access to internal and third-party data. This connectivity must meet the same standards of accessibility described above if it is to keep pace with an agile procurement workforce.
While it is certainly possible to access some market intelligence from the browser on your smart phone, this does not pass the ‘trust test’. Last year, we learned that 70% of procurement and sourcing professionals identify internal peers as the most credible source of supplier intelligence. But we can no more carry our peers with us into the field than our filling cabinets. Internal knowledge must be as accessible to procurement as procurement is to internal stakeholders and executives – no matter where we happen to be working from.
tealbook has believed in mobile access to information from the outset. The tealbook app allows quick access to your current suppliers as well as new suppliers you have just met or heard about. Instantly add them to your tealbook and capture notes about why they are of interest. No more business cards to lose or collect dust. No more vital information being dropped in transitions between team members. Just instant access to trusted supplier intelligence.
We can also help facilitate mobile access to supplier intelligence – from internal as well as industry peers. Simply search for a supplier on the tealbook app and read internal notes or review the endorsement tags that have been assigned to that company by your peers in other companies.