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Digitalisation in Procurement and Supply CIPS and The University of Melbourne


Digitalisation Procurement Digital Supply Chain

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Australasia (CIPS) has been working with the University of Melbourne on a new paper about the digitilsation of supply chains, and how digital can increase efficiency in the fourth industrial revolution.

The University of Melbourne carried out global research with CIPS to gather insight into the levels of understanding and implementation of digital systems in the procurement community worldwide.

The survey was conducted in mid-2018 and was completed by over 700 supply chain managers in more than 20 different sectors and 55 countries took part, making it one of the most unique global surveys of its kind. 

Digitalisation in Procurement and Supply CIPS and The University of Melbourne


As with many sectors, digital disruption is taking hold and is having a significant effect on procurement and supply chain practices. This disruption could lead to supply chain systems that are transparent, flexible and agile, also customer-centric, responsive and creating real value and not just delivering cost savings for organisations. Companies are no longer restricted by physical supply chains as they merge with the digital sphere. As digital takes hold, communications conducted by humans will be replaced by machine-to-machine interactions, and human intervention is likely to become more strategic.

The paper outlines 11 digital enablers in total:

  • Cloud computing
  • Internet of Things
  • Big data
  • Simulation tools and models
  • Augmented reality
  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology)
  • Sensor Technology
  • 3D printing
  • Omni Channel (various customer channels)
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Robotics 

3D printing is being used now to develop prototypes and small batches of components and products so support on return of Investment before wholesale production starts for manufacturers. Artificial Intelligence can process information more quickly and efficiently than humans and can be used for invoicing and can be used to recognise instances of fraud within a split second.

Augmented reality adds rich texture and context to physical realities and can include text, video, photos and sound. Big data is the collection and manipulation of internal and external sources of data that support real-time decision-making. Data is set to become the biggest disruptor of our age and many organisation use only a tiny fraction of the total data hoard they currently own and are unable to exploit.






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