Holistic Transformation: The Key to Long-term Value Creation and Procurement Success


Holistic transformation requires a digital strategy that’s focused on helping your team become digitally enabled and insight-led.

To unlock procurement’s full potential and turn the function into a future-ready value-creation powerhouse, leaders must look beyond technology and strategically align new digital capabilities with the needs of the business, the procurement team, and the individuals within it.

They must also ensure that the digital evolution strategy is supported by human and culture transformation plans so people can adapt to new, digitally enabled workflows. And they must reimagine how the function works, challenge fundamentals, and build new processes and workflows around transformational technology.

Or, to put it more succinctly, they need to approach procurement transformation holistically.

To understand what holistic procurement evolution can do, we need to explore the results of combining digital, process, and people-oriented change in the right way.

Robust data and insight foundation

Everything starts with a strong data foundation. By building robust data foundations, teams can make all their valuable internal data highly visible and add vital context to it by pulling in new third-party and external data sets. That enables deeper trend analysis and provides the reliable pipeline of high-quality data needed to power technologies like AI and machine learning.

AI-generated insights should also be supplemented with human-generated insight from expert intelligence partners where available. By combining the massive scouring and processing power of AI with the unmatched contextual intelligence delivered by humans, procurement teams gain constant access to timely insights they can trust.

See also: How the Democratization of AI is Fueling Business Growth

AI as an intelligent intermediary

Once you’ve got the right data structured in the right ways, you need to make it as easy as possible for every stakeholder to generate and access the insights they need. That’s where AI assistants become extremely valuable – essentially enabling users to have conversations with their data.

Whenever a stakeholder wants to query data or learn something from it, they can use natural language to ask an AI assistant for it. Then, with an understanding of who that stakeholder is and what they need, the assistant can provide contextual intelligence to them exactly when they need it.

Streamlined processes and workflows for every stakeholder

The rapid delivery of contextualized, personally-relevant intelligence and workflow automation transforms how every procurement stakeholder works. At the start of their day, there’s a list of relevant insights that need their attention, along with recommended actions. From there, they can use AI to ask new questions about their data and ensure they’re getting the full picture before they respond to the detected trends.

As a result, people across the team will quickly become more effective in their roles, will be better equipped to achieve their goals, and will be empowered to create more business value.

A culture that’s both digital-first and human-centric

Across this environment, every stakeholder is digitally enabled to do their job to the highest possible standard. Use of powerful digital capabilities becomes an ingrained part of modern workflows, but at every stage, digital capabilities, touchpoints, and processes are

designed around human experts. 

The environment isn’t engineered to replace human expertise – it’s designed to augment and extend it, unlocking the full value creation potential of every role and enabling procurement to fulfill its full strategic potential.

Drive holistic change and seize the digital procurement opportunity today

A holistic approach to procurement evolution empowers your people to mitigate supply risk and respond to trends before your competitors. It also enables your teams to proactively minimize

costs, drive sustainability, and stay ahead of customer and market shifts.

And it empowers the people in your procurement team to achieve their goals faster by solving many of the common challenges that hinder their effectiveness.

But, as we’ve discussed, holistic change demands holistic solutions, expertise, and capabilities. The right technology is just the beginning. You need a digital strategy that’s focused on helping your team become digitally enabled and insight-led. You also need to reimagine your operating model so it gets the most from your new digital and human capabilities.

Prerna Dhawan

About Prerna Dhawan

Prerna Dhawan is Chief Solutions Officer at The Smart Cube, responsible for developing and managing the company's solutions portfolio. Dhawan owns the strategic direction and investment prioritization across the portfolio, developing AI+HI solutions based on customer feedback, market dynamics, and internal innovation.

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