Trump labels it protectionism. The UK calls it Brexit. Other countries talk about local economic and manufacturing support. But whatever you call it, how do we continue to source effectively when traditional procurement is being disrupted along with almost every other industry or profession?

By grasping procurement’s burning platforms and taking them as opportunities, said Duncan Brock, CIPS Director, at this morning’s launch of the Smart Procurement World Gauteng Conference.

“Your burning platforms will not be the same as mine,” said Crothers. But common ‘burners’ include ethics in supply chains, a legacy of absent or poor skills development and technology as a disruptor.

Crothers sees huge potential in artificial intelligence meeting emotional intelligence. A meeting of these two will liberate procurement from its transactional ‘day job’ and allow it to do procurement well – to advise the business, rather than control the business’ money spending.

“By taking control, technology such as automation will give procurement the chance to shift its efforts elsewhere”.

Furthermore, procurement’s ethics role is clear, said Crothers. “Procurement must take the ethical lead and guide what happens in supply chains. Only then can it be considered ethically accountable.”

Follow us on Twitter @SmartProcure for updates from the conference.