What can we say about the current state of affairs with regard to Digitalisation of Procurement in The Netherlands? On a 5-point maturity scale for digital Procurement, as developed by the German WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, the participants of Frank Rozemeijer’s webinar scored an average of 2.4. That is exactly between phase 2 ‘Digital newcomer’ and phase 3 ‘Developing learner’. So, there is still a lot of work to do before we can call ourselves Digital champions (phase 5). However, we are not lagging behind the rest of Europe. Research from SAP and the University of Mannheim concluded in 2019 that although the adoption of mature digital technologies (such as EDI, Cloud solutions, Collaboration tools, eProcurement, eAuctions, eCatalogues) within Procurement and SCM is going reasonably well, the adoption of the latest digital technologies (such as Blockchain, Virtual / Augmented reality, Chatbots, AI and RPA) is still very poor.
It will take some serious resources and efforts to bring digitalisation beyond the tipping point. For this, it is important to see digitalisation as much more than just the automation of operational Procurement activities and take a more holistic supply chain view. We must stop thinking in terms of what is not possible or allowed at this moment, it’s much more important to look creatively at what is (or could be) possible. Why not engage your key supply chain stakeholders and brainstorm together about how digital technology can be applied in a way that benefits all?