May 27, 2014, 12:53 PM

The best B2B procurement officers look to the web

The laggards still have a ways to go, according to a new survey from Ardent Partners.

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Chief procurement officers with more control over their companies’ spending tend to use more online tools than do their peers, suggests survey results from Ardent Partners.

The Boston-based supply management advisory firm arrived at its findings via online surveys conducted in January of 273 chief procurement officers, with results bolstered by direct interviews with 24 “CPOs and procurement leaders.” The results allow a glimpse into how companies use the web to better their business-to-business e-commerce efforts. 

55% of “best-in-class” survey respondents—that is, those controlling at least 85% of procurement spending in their organizations—employ automated spend analysis. That compares with 35% of the other respondents. 66% of those judged top performers use e-sourcing, compared with 39% of the rest. 43% of the best-in-class group have automated content management; that compares with 21% of the rest. 68% of best-in-class respondents use e-procurement and 50% use e-payables; that compares with 47% and 39%, respectively, of the rest.

Such technologies help to ensure that corporate buyers are purchasing what they are supposed to, at negotiated prices from approved vendors.

(The July issue of Internet Retailer magazine will feature a survey about e-commerce technology trends. Please click to take part in the short survey.)

As for the top challenges procurement officers will face in 2014, the survey found that:

• 57% cite staff and talent constraints.

• 35% complain about “lack of engagement with the business.”

• 31% anticipate “budget constraints.”

• 29% worry about “lack of technology.”

• 26% will have a difficult time “aligning processes and systems.”

 

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