Posted: 10 Jun. 2024 4 min Lukuaika

Unlock the potential of AI for your procurement organisation

Sourcing and procurement operations have historically been at the forefront of technological disruption. There is plenty of potential to transform day-to-day manual activities and swivel chair processes in sourcing and procurement operations.

As we reflect on the events that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from the global pandemic to geopolitical conflicts and rising inflation, one truth has become clear: the need for procurement organisations to strengthen their abilities and adapt to a rapidly changing operating environment is more important than ever before. Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) enables us to follow the turns of the ever-changing environment, supporting us in data analytics so that we can make better strategic decisions.

AI use cases for procurement organisations

There are a plenty of AI use cases that can be used to enhance daily procurement work and to drive the value procurement that organisations create. Below we have selected the most feasible use cases for Finnish procurement organisations based on our experience.

GenAI can help to address challenges in procurement by:

  • Crunching large sets of data to process scenario-based results – reducing complex manual processes and interventions.
  • Leveraging complex automation to increase efficiencies.
  • Analysing spending patterns to identify cost-saving opportunities.
  • Combining internal data with external data to craft better negotiation strategies.
  • Analysing various data points to generate valuable insights into suppliers in order to support supplier selection.
  • Generating insights based on historical data and market trends, and predicting future demand with a high degree of accuracy.

Generating value in sourcing and procurement with AI

GenAI’s greatest potential in the source-to-pay process is most likely in the following: (1) proactive risk management, (2) process automation and (3) supporting decision-making. In an increasingly uncertain world, instant access to accurate information is vital for mitigating and managing risk, and empowering organisations. In addition, GenAI can help automate create rocesses in the source-to-pay process, including creating documents (a request for X, charters, contracts) or creating transactions (purchase orders, invoices). See the picture below for more ways to generate value with GenAI.

A checklist for kick starting your AI journey in procurement

Organisations should have a clear methodology for embarking on the AI transformation. Based on discussions with our clients, we have created the checklist below in order to summarise the aspects that should be considered when starting the AI development journey within the procurement organisation:

  1. Know the possibilities

    Explore the art of the possible: Think beyond existing limitations and conventional approaches to unlock GenAI’s transformative potential. Multiple solutions and possibilities exist – and GenAI is developing constantly! 

  2. Define your vision

    Formulate your vision: Adopt a comprehensive strategy to enhance the procurement organisation through well-defined use cases, technological decisions, planning and stakeholder engagement.

    Prioritise use cases: Create a detailed list of possible use cases for GenAI. Afterwards, prioritise the use cases based on risk, impact, feasibility and cost to help maximise the benefits of GenAI.

  3. Activate your vision

    Build the foundation: Focus on building a robust foundation that can accommodate data-driven AI improvements over time and handle computational demands. This architecture should facilitate efficient data gathering, cleansing and organisation from multiple sources and integrate seamlessly into existing solutions and workflows.

    Prepare data: Systematically prepare data by identifying relevant data sources, collecting data from various channels, cleaning and pre-processing, and contextualising the data to make it actionable. At the same time, consider aspects of data security and compliance. Organisations should be cautious in order to maintain control when utilising their data with AI tools.

    A pilot use case: Initiate GenAI implementation in select high-impact use cases. With experience, progressively expand into more sophisticated AI use cases, gradually transitioning from simple tasks to complex tasks, unlocking greater value from GenAI

For procurement organisations, harnessing the power of AI is not just a luxury – it is necessity. It brings a competitive advantage in a business environment where every euro and every detail matters. Deloitte has been supporting multiple procurement organisations to kick off their AI journey, and we are excited to dig into the world of digital capabilities.

Unlock the potential of AI for your business from day one with our tailored support and expertise. Let us connect to ensure a seamless and rewarding experience as you embark on your AI journey.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for updates on our pioneering work in leveraging GenAI for procurement optimisation!

Contact

Anu Kaukiainen

Anu Kaukiainen

Liikkeenjohdon konsultti

Anu Kaukiainen työskentelee liikkeenjohdon konsulttina Deloitten Supply Chain & Network Operations -tiimissä. Hänellä on kokemusta hankinta- ja logistiikkafunktioiden kehityksestä erityisesti teollisella toimialalla. Anu on ollut mukana auttamassa asiakkaita muun muassa hankintatoimen prosessikehityksessä, logistiikan toimintamallin uudistamisessa sekä tulevaisuuden toimitusketjun digitaalisten kyvykkyyksien suunnittelussa. Briefly in English: Anu works as a management consultant at Deloitte Finland’s Supply Chain & Network Operations practice. She has experience in developing sourcing and logistics functions in industrial sector. At Deloitte Anu has helped clients for example in process development, operating model re-design and digital capabilities developing in supply chain.

Julia Jokinen

Julia Jokinen

Management Consultant

Julia Jokinen työskentelee liikkeenjohdon konsulttina Deloitten Supply Chain & Network Operations -tiimissä. Hän toimii monipuolisesti hankinnan ja asiakaspalvelun projekteissa paikallisten ja globaalien asiakkaiden kanssa. Julia on auttanut asiakkaitamme muun muassa hankinnan sekä asiakaspalvelun toimintamallin kehityksessä, hankintastrategian luomisessa, hankintajärjestelmän käyttöönotossa, prosessikehittämisessä, muutosjohtamisessa ja tuotantotapa-analyysin luomisessa. Briefly in English: Julia works as a management consultant at Deloitte Finland’s Supply Chain & Network Operations practice. She has worked with local and global clients mainly focusing on sourcing and procurement as well as customer service development projects. She has helped our clients for example in operating model development, sourcing strategy creation, sourcing system implementation, process development, change management and make-or-buy -analysis.