Procurement Predictions for 2018

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

As we begin the wind down to the end of 2017 and look ahead to the next year, we asked a few CASME facilitators and independent analysts, who are all experts in their specific categories, to share some insights on what 2018 may have in store.


David Natoff – Former Head of Procure to Pay, Google
“Digitization will be on the agenda for many procurement and supply chain organisations in 2018. There are many Digital technologies impacting procurement now such cognitive computing/Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent content extraction, predictive analytics, visualization, 3D Printing and process automation (robotics). there are also a bunch of new technologies around the corner such as blockchain and virtual reality and it will be interesting how the procurement professional will adapt with these new technologies

Rules-based repeatable tasks will become more automated and ultimately eliminated enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement operations and accounts payables. Strategic Sourcing will become more insightful and ultimately start providing foresight as spend becomes managed in real time leading to better category/commodity management and AI enables better forecasting and demand management. Finally supplier management will become more proactive as risk is managed in real time.”      


Tina Fegent – Marketing Procurement Consultant
“The three themes for marketing procurement in 2018 will be transparency, trust and transformation.  Never has the industry been at such a point where there has been such a spotlight on the commercial dealings of agencies. This is the time for marketing procurement to take the lead. Whether it be in media or programmatic or the buying of production, agencies have to be fully transparent in terms of their suppliers and their costs for clients. 

Trust has been eroded due to lack of transparency and it is time for procurement to ensure that the right suppliers are in place with the right commercial framework that will enable clients to be able to adapt and make sure that their business is fit for the digital marketing era.”


Jack Kelley  - CASME Facilitator, Asia-Pacific
“The skill level for professional buyers in this region has grown exponentially over the past few years mandated by internal organizational influences and external market dynamics. Procurement practices of the past no longer provide acceptable results that comply with company goals and objectives.  Cost savings continues to be a top key performance indicator (KPI) using advanced cost models.  Availability, quality and service have become measurements challenging sellers and buying professionals’ expertise.  Pressures for world class buyer performance and supplier selection benchmarking in this region will continue to increase.

In the future more supplier emphasis will be placed on trust, cultural awareness and government regulations, and a higher expectation from suppliers for new ideas, faster digital real-time connectivity and improved performances.  Buyer KPIs will continue with a heightened focus on savings, on-time delivery and kaizen quality level expectations.  Buyers’ scope of responsibility will broaden to include strategy development, stakeholder sensitivity and supplier relationship management (SRM) programs. Understanding data and people management are essential skill sets and increasingly paramount in achieving a robust supply chain in sync with internal and external market demands.

In the Asia-Pacific regional there is an insatiable demand for subject matter expertise provided in CASME’s expanded product offerings.  CASME’s presence in this region will continue to be an invaluable influence in 2018 and beyond.  “The Year of the Dog” will be even more demanding than 2017 as new ideas and proven old ideas become engrained in day-to-day practices. CASME’s phenomenal growth in this region is recognized as a key catalyst to the elevated skills of procurement professionals.”             


Ian Hamilton – CASME Facilitator, Australia
“In 2018 the pressure from senior management for innovation and reducing the total cost of purchase for all goods and services will only increase.  To meet these needs Procurement’s key tool is the expertise and innovative capabilities of its critical suppliers.  To tap into these sources Procurement must strive to sell its organisation as the supplier’s number one customer, such that they direct their limited resources towards your organisation.

Technology advancements in business systems and data collection and analysis will also remain important for those organisations striving to improve their overall performance.  CASME provides the ideal platform for sharing experiences and knowledge with your peers in both these areas, and will continue to do so into the future.”


Graham Crawshaw – CASME Services Director and RoundTable Facilitator
“Next year there is going to be a big focus on GDPR as we grapple with the unknown impact this major new legislation might have when it comes into effect in May, plus the Brexit deadline, of course, which is drawing ever closer.

Digitisation is another big trend. We've started hearing a lot of talk from members about block chains, AI and robotics in RoundTables this year but will this finally be reality in 2018 or is it still just future thinking?” 

“Specific or procurement issues around managing risk, engaging stakeholders and managing procurement talent will continue be challenges that procurement professionals need to address and to develop positive strategies for success.”


CASME would like to thank our global community of members, facilitators, analysts and employees for their support in 2017 and wish you a very Happy Holiday. Our head office will close on 22 December 2017 and reopen again on 2 January 2018. 



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