The IT Pro Podcast: How can we make procurement smart?

The IT Pro Podcast logo with the episode title 'How can we make procurement smart?''

Procurement has long been treated as a ticketing problem, with check boxes to fill and suppliers to onboard according to regulation. But with increasingly sophisticated automation systems, and a growing need for exact partner agreements amidst global supply chain issues, companies could do well to rethink their linear approach to procurement.

This week we talked to Sudhir Bhojwani and Lalitha Rajagopalan, co-founders of supplier engagement platform ORO Labs, about its ‘smart’ procurement strategy, and the place that automation has within the procurement workflow.


“If the safety certification was done two years back, maybe you need to do it again. On the other hand, if it was never done, you definitely need to do it again. So, the smartness really also means it needs to understand these concepts natively, and there are many such concepts, health and safety is just one. Sustainability is another concept, security is another, privacy is another, there are lots and lots of interesting concepts that companies have to deal with. And if you don't do smartly, you will end up doing same thing again, and again, for no good reason.”

“Think about it that way, right. So what a smart workflow will do, is it will actually not wait till the user fails, saying that, "Oh, you don't have an alternative," it will tell him right up front, it'll give him the in-guided policy guidance to say, "Hey, you're trying to buy something that's going to cost more than 100k. The company policy says that, you know, it should have a competitive bid, do you have a competitive bid? Or an alternate supply you'd like to consider? Or is it a unique situation? Like it's a unique supplier or something like that?" So the user is guided to provide exception, right there, they don't fail it and then go back.”

“Users feel frustrated with procurement, because they are like kids stuck in the backseat of the car asking the parents "are we there yet? Are we there yet?" It's like a complete black box, and one big part of it is making the visibility of what's going on and why it's going on.

Read the full transcript here.




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