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Digital Technologies for Cognitive Procurement

In the age of disruptive technologies, organizations must evolve beyond traditional business operations, processes and frameworks. This is so that the new technologies can be used to their fullest potential to deliver the actionable intelligence and accurate analysis for maximum business performance.

In order to fully step into digital procurement, an organization must rely on cognitive procurement and the technology it leverages together to achieve a sound and frictionless digitalization journey. This article discusses some digital technologies in the current trend towards cognitive procurement.

Trend of Cognitive Procurement

Cognitive procurement is the next-stage shift of the procurement role from simple transactional duties to complex strategic sourcing activities. This evolution is supported by cutting-edge technologies that removes repetitive tasks, automating many downstream processes and refocuses procurement resources and efforts to true collaborative, value-creation work.

Current trends towards cognitive procurement and the associated digital technologies include the following areas:

  1. Optimizing the digitalization strategy
  2. Big data management and smart analytics
  3. Optimize supply chain efficiency
  4. Enhancing business risk management
  5. Automating processes with AI and RPA technologies
  6. Cutting costs and value enhancement
  7. Enhancing supply chain operation with blockchain
  8. Leveraging supplier relationship management

Implementing Cognitive Procurement

Cognitive procurement is the method which disruptive technologies are used to aid the procurement function. It taps into machine learning to process data in order to enhance sourcing activities. AI and smart technologies are also utilized to analyze data and enhance spend visibility. But cognitive procurement goes beyond just technology. It is also the combination of multiple business functions to form an ecosystem that produces synergies, such as agile analytics, data fusion and actionable intelligence.

There are several reasons that hinder an implementation of cognitive procurement; such as unclear goals of digital transformation, incorrect approach to digitalization and imperfect understanding of the company’s processes. The solution is to implement cognitive procurement technologies backed up with some social development.


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Nick Lai Weixuan, ADPSM
Nick Lai Weixuan has extensive experience in the specialised field of procurement, as well as multi-disciplinary functions and account management. He holds a Bachelor degree from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), and is a member of Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Nick completed Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply Management (ADPSM) on April 2021 at SIPMM Institute.
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