The last few years have seen the rapid development of a variety of tools and services related to procurement intelligence.
There is a good reason for the growing market for procurement intelligence support services and products. As the world in general, and the business community more specifically, globalizes, procurement becomes more complex and at the same time, vitally important to the success of many companies.
In past decades, a significant amount of a company’s raw material and other requirements would have been sourced locally, or at least in the same region. Now, however, it is common for materials to be sourced from one or more countries that are far away from the manufacturing plant. The countries from which raw material are purchased can also fluctuate as buyers take advantage of the best prices and availability wherever they can be found.
This flexibility to procure materials and other goods from multiple, often distant, locations has been facilitated by massive improvements in communications, transport and logistics infrastructure and services.
There are certain risks associated with this newer procurement style, however. Constantly fluctuating currencies, inconsistent transportation costs due to oil prices, environmental disasters, labor and regulatory impacts, etc. all combine to potentially make international procurement a complicated activity.
This is why there is now such a strong market for procurement intelligence. Having up-to-date and accurate information on which to base decisions makes a procurement manager’s job easier, significantly reduces the risks associated with non-supply, shipping delays, and market fluctuations.