Top trending topics

Top trending topics for procurement and supply chain: Digitization has reached operational implementation

In our six-month survey on the top 5 topics in procurement and supply chain, we see that digitization and automation have arrived in the task areas for implementation in procurement and supply chain management. Although digitization and automation are still represented at C-level and strategy level, sustainability and risk management issues are becoming increasingly important. This is also reflected in the recently concluded BME Symposium of the Federal Association of Materials Management, Procurement and Logistics in Berlin. Under the #pacesetter, one of the main topics was the automation of business processes, be it source-to-contract or purchase-to-pay.

In the area of supply chain, the new topic in this survey is zero waste, the avoidance of waste in the supply chain. Due to the rising and to be expected rising costs for CO2 and waste a new cost block arises for many companies, which should be avoided from the beginning. For this reason, more and more supply chain departments are concerned with the avoidance of waste along the supply chain and thus also with the avoidance of additional CO2 consumption.

The continuing warnings of a recession in Germany have no influence on the results of the survey. The classic topics of cost reduction are, as always, present in the survey. Classic security measures in a recession such as inventory management, supplier management and, above all, contract management are rarely mentioned. However, the survey of our current and former customers has already revealed clear signs of a recession, especially in mechanical and plant engineering. The number of new orders is declining significantly, and suppliers are reporting free production capacities.

However, risk management and compliance to ensure process quality are new topics in our TOP 5 lists. However, two other topics can also be found on request: The first is risk management for early protection against supplier failures (recession) and the second is damage to the company’s image as a result of CSR violations within the company or in the supply chain. We at ADCONIA see transparency and monitoring of the supply chain as one of the most important trends and tasks for purchasing and the supply chain. Perhaps this topic will also be reflected more strongly at the next BME Symposium.

Our new list of TOP TRENDING TOPICS for Procurement & Supply Chain can be summarized under the following three points:

– Implementing digitization and automation

– Avoid costs due to environmental taxes

– Implement risk management with a view to supplier failures and image loss


Oliver Kreienbrink

Managing Director, ADCONIA GmbH (Oberhausen)