Procurement services and the future of digital GBS

Cost pressure, unstable market conditions, and global interconnected value chains compel companies to streamline their support operations. The Covid-19 disruption paved the way for major technology adoption, and Global Business Services (GBS) became a key pillar for resilient operations.

A survey by three leading management consulting firms shows that 50% of the GBS businesses saw no effect on their operations during Covid-19. At the same time, productivity increased for 38% of the businesses. Traditionally, relatively transactional business activities eventually integrate with continuity plans to keep the operations resilient during disasters.

This article will explain how GBS impacts procurement services and its future trends.

What are Global Business Services (GBS)?

GBS provides end-to-end support for businesses that operate in multiple countries. The suite of services may include streamlining operations, increased efficiency, and providing better customer service. It focuses on a company’s core business goals and comprises human resources, finance, information technology, accounting, procurement, and capacity management professionals.

The procurement GBS operating model

The GBS model puts a central view on procurement to identify synergies and saving opportunities. Establish standardised procurement processes and formal ways to work across markets. GBS typically supports the middle and back offices in the procurement function, taking a multi-layered approach. Procurement leaders should focus on these priorities in a dynamic landscape –

  • Build capability centres to tap global synergies
  • Pivot to a service-driven procurement culture and leverage the GBS delivery model
  • Work closely with stakeholders to plan the demand and any potential supply disruptions
  • Formally define and streamline procurement process steps, enable automation and integration, and focus on category-specific processes
  • Make sustainability a key criterion for sourcing, selecting, and monitoring suppliers
  • Introduce sustainability KPIs in supplier contracts
  • Define KPIs and metrics to help you make data-driven decisions across the procurement cycle
  • Monitor and manage supplier performance through real-time dashboards

Procurement managers should directly link GBS to a mature procurement model involving people, data, processes, and technology. Mature procurement processes can move to a GBS model, bringing efficiency and saving costs.

The future of GBS

Technologies such as real-time dashboards, service management tools, chatbots, and intelligent automation are key enablers in a GBS model. With global companies eager to adopt GBS and the relevant technologies, here are the trends to look out for –

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning

    AI and ML technologies deliver better value across the procurement process. They identify risks and opportunities, which helps negotiate better prices and contract terms. Identify patterns in supplier delivery to manage risk and flag potential issues before they become big problems.

  • Hyper automation

    Along with AI, ML, RPA, and analytics, hyper-automation will regulate mundane and repetitive tasks. Hyperautomation will bring efficiency to common activities in procurement, such as data entry, customer service, and document processing.

  • Data analytics

    Predict future trends and customer behaviours to improve service delivery, efficiency, and costs. Assess and measure the impact of shared services on business outcomes. Make informed strategic decisions on bringing more value to the procurement cycle.

  • Intelligent data capture and RPA

    Robotic process automation (RPA) will assist in order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes. This will bring higher efficiency, lower processing time, and better compliance and customer experience.

  • Process mining

    Data mining techniques will discover, monitor, and improve business processes. This will help identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and improvement opportunities. Digital twins of processes can study scenarios that you cannot execute in the live environment.

  • Intelligent business process management

    Using iBPMs and content services platforms, including knowledge sharing and document collaboration, will greatly increase. Automating key processes and integrating them with the existing ones is set to become far easier. A single source of truth will lead to better control and decision-making to assist many customers.

  • The role of the chief shared services officer will change

    CSSO will need a strong understanding of the technology and strategy behind operational improvements. The role will become highly strategic to effectively govern and deliver the services.

For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like living organisms will be imperative for business excellence. A comprehensive yet modular suite of services is doing precisely that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

How can Infosys BPM help?

GBS at Infosys BPM helps streamline operations, reduce costs, and manage business growth while improving existing services. The five-step approach to implementing GBS leverages proprietary frameworks and tools for shared services across geographies, functions, and industries.

Read more about global business services model at Infosys BPM.

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