• Renier Bester

When procurement goes digital: Day 5 - Envisaged Insights

In this, the last of a five-part series of articles on often neglected key enablers of a procurement digitalisation journey, I would like to introduce you to the concept of envisaged insights.


Neglected enabler of the day: Envisaged insights


Envisaged insights may sound like something you achieve through hours of meditation and reflection on some abandoned beach, thousands of kilometres from civilisation, but it is actually much simpler than that! All this means is that you need to consider, and at least roughly define, a list of procurement or business focus areas that you would want to have a good understanding of in your P2P environment; in other words, what business insights would you be looking for to better perform and manage your P2P capability. 


Having this well-defined list of business requirements may sound excessive when looking at a digitalisation journey … I mean, this is essentially just reporting, right? Not exactly.

Insights should be one of the key considerations to designing your digitalisation end state. Procurement solutions help to implement more control and allow the organisation to perform procurement activities in a more standardised, more efficient manner, while continually collecting all this transactional data. Although these are crucial improvements that digitalisation of the P2P environment should enable, equally as important is that the organisation should, from all this data collected, be able to better understand their environment, its real challenges (not only the symptoms), pockets of excellence, opportunities, and so forth. Not just reporting, but insight! These insights should drive the organisation’s decision-making and strategy development.


To achieve these insights, you should not only have the correct analytics capabilities included in your digital solution architecture, but it may require some process and activity-related design considerations so that all the required pieces of information are recorded when performing related procurement activities.


Spend time and effort to compile a list of the most important insights you would want to have post digitalisation. Although the list of current reports could be a useful way to kickstart the list of insights, this is not the only consideration. Think about where the organisation is going and how procurement can contribute to getting the organisation there. For Procurement to make a contribution, what pieces of information and understanding would it need? Now, based on this, list the insights required from the digital solutions after enablement … and if you still feel that you need the island meditation sessions, send a postcard!


Over the last few days we’ve discussed five key enablers that are often neglected in a procurement digitalisation journey. 


Thank you for taking the time to read these articles. I hope they’ve provided you with some insight (no pun intended) into why these enablers, although maybe less obvious and often overlooked, play an important part in a successful digitalisation journey.


Most importantly, I hope that this series has left you with the realisation that digitalisation is not only about systems with fancy functions and features. However, if done correctly, digitalisation enable these functions and features to do exactly that ... function and feature in a high performing procurement environment.



Emile Olckers is a principal consultant at Supply Chain Partner.  He applies his time enabling customer  procurement and sourcing optimisation and visibility using market leading digital platforms. Able to analyse customer challenges and provide suitable solutions using a combination of technology and process enablers, he is passionate about partnering with customers to deliver on their procurement digitalisation vision .Emile has spent his 18-years in business providing customers with insight and visibility into their inbound supply chain operations and leading the development of pre-populated business intelligence tools for SAP to enable customer visibility in very condensed periods of time. He has been involved with customers spanning multiple sectors: manufacturing, mining, petroleum and chemicals, transportation and airlines.

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