EMEA Digital Procurement Survey 2019: Preview trailer


Key takeaways

  1. Digitalisation is a strategic priority for procurement departments across Europe.
  2. Regardless of the country, sector or business size, procurement departments’ number two priority is to digitise their processes, with streamlining their organisation only just taking first place. Talent management and developing supplier collaboration rank next in importance.
  1. Digitalisation is well on track, with an average 2.5 out of 7 procurement processes having already switched to digital, compared to 1.5 in 2017.
  2. In line with the 2017 findings, service-sector businesses are in the lead. Three out of seven of their processes are now digital, as opposed to two out of seven for industry. Digitalisation is set to expand as it is deemed a strategic priority (priority #2) in which companies will continue to invest.
  3. SMEs are slower to embrace digital procurement processes, with only 1.5 out of 7 already digitised. For these companies, the shift to digital is not strategic, although upwards of 80% plan to invest.
  1. Another striking difference compared to 2017: the digital leap forward in “strategic” processes – a trend that will gain in momentum.
  2. 60% of companies have started digitising strategic procurement processes – strategic sourcing, predictive analytics and supplier collaboration tools – compared to 21% in 2017 (a 39-point increase).
  3. For transactional aspects – Source-to-Pay, contract preparation and spend trackers – nearly 75% of companies are currently adopting digital solutions. In line with the 2017 findings, these processes take priority.
  1. Lastly, companies now deem standard solutions like Source-to-Pay and data analytics as foregone conclusions. Some have moved further ahead, initiating projects for AI, automation and Industry 4.0. The proportion of companies aspiring to roll out these technologies is set to double.
  2. 80% of companies are currently deploying Source-to-Pay solutions and nearly 90% intend to continue investing in them.
  3. On average, 33% of companies have tested AI, automation and Industry 4.0 solutions, and of these 65% intend to invest in such technologies. The survey suggests that the number of AI users will increase by a multiple of 2.3.
  4. Conversely, attitudes towards blockchain are mixed, with only 14% of companies having carried out tests, of which 60% consider it to be unsatisfactory.
  5. Based on these observations, we have devised a digital maturity curve.
  1. What lies ahead? Though companies are fully aware of the difficulties involved in accomplishing their projects, future investment will be significant.
  2. 78% of companies, regardless of their sector or country, stated their intention to invest in at least three digital solutions.
  3. Those companies having already rolled out such technologies are faced with acquiring the related skills, which has proved the number one setback for the success of projects (ahead of change enablement and sponsorship). In line with the findings of the 22nd CEO survey,* shortage of skills is a major concern for companies.

*According to the PwC 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey (2019)

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16 themes

Close-up on Germany

  1. Germany has a clear leading position in procurement digitalisation compared to its European counterparts. For the degree of process digitisation, Germany’s procurement departments have above average or even leading maturity in 6 out of 7 processes surveyed.
  2. In contrast to other countries, Germany’s industrial sector shows a much advanced state of procurement digitalisation (49%), whilst the service sector is lagging behind (27%). This indicates a high maturity of Germany’s industrial sector and its strong awareness of digitalisation as a key enabler for procurement.
  3. Germany’s leading position is even more pronounced with regard to technology deployment in Procurement. For almost all technology covered by this survey, German procurement departments are at the forefront, occupying the #1 position for 5 out of the 6 digital solutions in the survey.
  4. Being the first movers in digitalisation, German procurement departments now also realise the importance of the other critical factor for successful digital transformation - the people. So much so, that the respondents rated “skill development & talent acquisition” as their #1 priority (compared to EU average #3).
  5. Despite their strong leading position, German procurement departments are committed to further investment in digitalisation. 90% of German respondents indicated their intention to invest further in at least one of the digital solutions. The choice of investment directions coincides strongly with the maturity of the technology, with “S2P tools” and “Data analytics” both ranking #1.


EMEA Digital Procurement Survey 2019: Preview trailer

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