The fourth industrial revolution includes not only production (Smart Manufacturing/Factory) and logistics (Logistics 4. 0), but also all functional areas of a company, in particular procurement. Digitization creates new technological opportunities and solutions, such as smart contracts, predictive analytics software, new metrics, and big data and real-time availability of data, so companies face new challenges and opportunities. The responsibilities of the buyer are increasingly shifting towards monitoring, controlling, and steering tasks. Operational processes can run almost autonomously.
Due to the constant change in the procurement portfolio, driven by the development in production towards small series production up to batch size 1, procurement must react faster and faster. The goods to be procured are changing towards digital and innovative products and new components that require a new level of technical know-how. Machines or tools for the further processing or refinement of these new components and modules are also to be procured.
Due to increasingly complex technologies and a lack of expertise in certain areas, the company’s R&D department continues to focus on their core competencies and outsource parts of their activities. For this reason, procurement must deal in the future in particular with the procurement of external know-how (innovation sourcing).
We offer 2 solutions:
1. Technological innovations: Procurement of technologies and products that make it possible to meet market and customer requirements for digital solutions, as well as the demands of an increasingly digitalized service creation.
2. Process innovations: The adaptation of procurement processes, structures and ultimately also of employees in procurement to the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The expanded opportunities resulting from new technologies and changed processes allow the procurement to reposition itself in the supply chain and fulfil its strategic role as a driver of increasing networking and innovator.
The Procurement has interfaces to almost all departments in the company as well as to external partners (especially suppliers). This enables them to identify the need for action at an early stage and to use new control options such as smart analytics and big data to make decisions on an improved data basis for the entire company and the supply chain.
Innovation Sourcing enables the procurement company to offer its product first on the market and thus secures a corresponding market share. Due to the ever-shorter product life cycles and the dynamic market conditions, the acquisition of innovations is essential today to ensure the company’s long-term success.