Across business and the public sector, agility is one of the most discussed concepts of the year. However, it's much more than just another buzzword - organisational agility will soon be regarded as a prerequisite for any corporate or public entity that wants to survive - let alone thrive - in today's fast-changing and unpredictable environment.
Organisations are now exploring ways to become more agile across nearly every department and function. Procurement is no exception, as evidenced by the recent report by Ardent Partners, CPO Rising: The Agility Agenda. The report, based on responses from more than 300 chief procurement officers and purchasing executives, states that procurement bosses must develop an 'agility agenda' to keep pace with the changing marketplace.
Meanwhile, as the Treasury prepares to roll out a fresh programme of spending cuts, the value for money delivered by public sector procurement departments will remain firmly under the spotlight. For procurement chiefs in public sector organisations, the stakes are particularly high when it comes to finding agile ways of working.
Agile procurement technology
"Agility is the characteristic that will help procurement departments advance and thrive in this new age where innovation continues to expand beyond mere products and services to core business processes and entire business models.
"Agility, however, does not grow organically. CPOs must take deliberate steps to build agility into the DNA of their staff and operations."
This is the conclusion of the Ardent Partners report, which also includes five areas identified by the research firm as key tenets of the procurement agility agenda: organisation, processes, strategies, technology and performance.
Looking in more detail at the 'technology' area, the report describes agile procurement technology as "cloud-based, easy-to-use and easy to adopt". It says these procurement solutions should be robust but also "intuitive, adaptable, and easy to deploy", with the capacity to support collaboration and offer strong reporting and analytics functions.
Collaborative procurement in the cloud
At Kahootz, we believe our cloud collaboration tool ticks all of the boxes listed in the CPO Rising report. That's why public sector organisations such as the NHS Centre for Procurement Efficiency and the Associations of London Transport Officers (read case study) chose to use Kahootz to support a more efficient, cost-effective procurement process.
Kahootz is a cloud-based platform that is easy to use and designed to support widespread adoption - new workspaces can be set up within minutes. With no software to install and no high-level technical support required, it's also quick and easy to deploy. Kahootz contains built-in data capture and reporting functions to ensure users gain insight from every interaction.
Although there are specialist 'e-procurement' software solutions available, cloud collaboration tools like Kahootz offer users more by being adaptable - one of the key characteristics identified in the CPO Rising report. Kahootz online workspaces have the flexibility to manage pre-market engagement and delivery phases of a project, as well as the purchasing stage. With additional functionality designed to support closely related activities such as stakeholder engagement, the tool extends the possibilities of simply moving procurement into the cloud.
The value of Kahootz is that it enables organisations to create purposeful communities of relevant people at each stage of the procurement process. This is what leads to quicker, more transparent and more cost-effective procurement. Is it time you make cloud collaboration part of your agility agenda?