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Modernize your procurement practice

supply chain
Procurement innovation is a vital business tool.

For any business – large or small – making procurement decisions through smarter buying is no longer an afterthought, but a core part of day-to-day operations.

Solutions that enable businesses to simplify buying from selection through delivery are recognized as essential to growth – and viewed by executives on the same level as marketing, sales and other, more familiar functions. 

And yet, despite the continued rise of procurement’s profile, business-to-business buyers now face a new challenge: modernize their procurement practice or run the risk of falling behind competitors and reducing business growth. 

However, for those businesses facing this very real challenge, there are key steps to take when analyzing the state of your procurement and business buying operations.

To start, let’s look at the current state of procurement on a global scale. According to the recent “Amazon Business 2024 State of Procurement Report,” 95% of surveyed business decision-makers acknowledge that there’s room for procurement optimization. 

Similarly, 98% of respondents are planning investments in analytics and insights tools, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) for their procurement operations in the next few years, further highlighting the growing need to modernize. 

Purchasing intelligence tools 

One immediate way to address modernization is obtaining actionable insights to drive smarter purchasing decisions. For example, visualizing spend data through customizable or pre-built dashboards and reports helps track progress toward buying goals. 

These solutions, made available by services like Amazon Business Analytics, not only improve visibility into purchasing but save crucial time and spur much quicker and more efficient decision making. 

Zooming out, investments in new procurement intelligence tools can also help cut costs and automate the important process of business data analytics, which subsequently frees up resources. Together, these advanced intelligence tools provide a full picture into your procurement process and highlight the data points needed to optimize and analyze spend across an organization. 

Purchasing optimization

Ensuring your business stays on top of purchasing optimization solutions is another important step in modernizing procurement. From streamlined onboarding that enables businesses to add new buyers to accounts in a quick and easy way, to access to selection and deals from competing sellers – simplifying the purchasing process with budgeting, fulfillment and replenishment solutions will provide both near-and long-term benefits for any business. 

Procurement solutions can help in this process by offering a sophisticated infrastructure that offers a real-time view of a purchasing account – from orders to replenishment and more. 

One, perhaps lesser-known benefit to investing in purchasing optimization tools is helping a business set spending rules for buyers through compliance. By doing so, internal polices can govern how much an employee spends and ensures they adhere to an organization’s purchasing guidelines. 

Take advantage of artificial intelligence

The artificial intelligence (AI) boom has impacted seemingly every industry and business function, with procurement serving as an intriguing case study. AI holds the potential to enhance smarter business buying by recommending lower-cost products based on past purchases or by empowering chatbots to gather information and provide guidance, both of which can drastically improve the effectiveness of your procurement team. 

Other ways AI can make an immediate impact is by igniting a realignment of priorities. Take, for instance, embracing AI to help the employee experience. AI can help create the same frictionless buying experiences employees have come to expect as a consumer and facilitate a human-machine collaboration that’s equal parts reliable and seamless. 

These are just three examples of ways to modernize your procurement practice, but ones that can make an immediate and long-term impact. Not taking advantage of these tools will only push your procurement practice further behind competitors. There is no better time to modernize and adopt emerging procurement solutions than now – the industry is ripe for innovation. 

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