Digital Staffing and Automation

Procurement leaders understand the importance and urgency of defining and executing digital transformation. Digitization and automation of procurement processes cannot only help to reduce costs, they can identify the most beneficial sourcing opportunities, and track results across all departments, from logistics to contingent staffing.

According to the Deloitte 2018 CPO Survey, more than four out of five respondents said they consider digitalization critical to improved procurement performance. However, the adoption of emerging technologies is low. More than one in five respondents representing the business and professional services industry said their company has no approved digital strategy in place. Further, more than 50% of procurement officers reported they didn't believe their current strategies would allow them to reach their goals.

Of the CPOs surveyed, 58 percent (and 74 percent of the complexity masters) are now aligning their digital strategies to both their own objectives and to the overall business strategy. Bain & Company notes that recent research indicates a fully automated procurement function could save top companies up to a total of $86 billion annually. Overall, 80% of procurement professionals believe they need to do more to take advantage of the latest digital tools.

Advantages of digitized procurement

A recent McKinsey survey of CPOs revealed that many who have already applied more well-established commercial and demand levers are convinced big data and advanced analytics hold the key for future improvements in procurement performance. When asked to quantify the likely near-term impact of their digital procurement programs, expectations included:

  • A 40% percent increase in annual savings
  • A 30% - 50% reduction in time spent on transactional sourcing
  • A 50% reduction in value leakage

Digitization goals for 2020

The top goals for digitization projects include automating processes, improving data quality, achieving cost savings, and improving compliance. But, how do these apply to procurement, and specifically to staffing and contingent workforce management?

Adoption of digital staffing options

The data available on every potential source for staffing and individual workers now allows for better matches to be made and specific needs to be filled when specialization and efficiency are vital. By taking advantage of contingent staffing solutions that digitally identify and assemble team members using predictive analytics, organizations can swiftly and confidently augment their existing workforce.

Process automation

Contingent staffing, whether supplied via staff augmentation or an SOW, can be tracked and spend allocated more efficiently with automated programs that recognize classifications across multiple documents and match it with the correct project budget.

Data quality

From the massive amounts of data produced and fed in from all quarters, procurement officers can clean, filter, and isolate for the information they need - the true cost of procurement across multiple departments and spend trends for different solutions.

Cost savings

When the procurement process is streamlined and automated using digitized solutions, cost savings are almost automatic. Fewer hours spent dealing with duplicated, rejected, resubmitted, and randomized documentation or communicating with HR to resolve issues results in reduced expenses related to procurement.

Improved compliance

Procurement can be one of the most complex tasks, especially when it comes to contingent staffing. Classification of workers can be rife with pitfalls, and an SOW can swiftly spin out of control if not carefully managed.

Implementation of digitalization

To see the actual impact of digital transformation - and to benefit from it - procurement leaders will need to review and refine their digital vision and strategy, making it more action-oriented, agile, and saleable to stockholders. Nearly a third of CPOs say that lack of senior stakeholder buy-in is crippling their advancement into digitized solutions.

Making a case for digitalization in staffing procurement will require clearly laying out the advantages of adoption, as well as mitigating the costs of development and deployment. Procurement leaders will need to have a solidified plan in place before approaching the rest of the executive team and may have to reallocate budget allocations in order to achieve their goals.

Digital staffing, embracing the hiring manager experience with tech, the direct sourcing ecosystem, and mitigating business disruption are all topics scheduled to be covered at the upcoming ProcureCon Contingent Staffing 2020, along with several interactive panels and Think Tank events. It all takes place from March 31 - April 01, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona.


Digital staffing and automation are both topics that will be covered at the upcoming ProcureCon Contingent Staffing 2020, to be held March 31 - April 01, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona.

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