Dr. Elouise Epstein, a digital futurist and partner at global consulting firm Kearney, says procurement can be a strategic force that harnesses digital technology to optimize cost, reduce risk, drive innovation and advance ESG efforts at scale.
CHICAGO, Aug. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The just-released book Trade Wars, Pandemics, and Chaos: How Digital Procurement Enables Business Success in a Disordered World pulls no punches. Author Elouise Epstein says procurement functions too often operate on "patently old logic, as was exposed during the pandemic"; was too slow to embrace technologies that have transformed other functions; and urgently needs to wake from a "collective stupor" that perpetuates the image of procurement as a "backwater function with little potential to add value to the enterprise."
Yet Epstein is also an "enthusiastic cheerleader" who insists "Today is the best time to be in procurement." Why? The author sees procurement becoming "a destination of choice for visionary leaders and high-performing employees who seek to engage in purpose-driven work. Naturally, digital transformation is the critical enabler of all of this value-driven work."
Bold Predictions, Detailed Prescriptions
The main body of the book offers a sweeping vision of this digitally-driven transformation, including many bold predictions. For example:
Procurement organizations worldwide face a prolonged era of "No Normal" as massive disruptions are now "the reality of our world"
Enterprise-level suites will continue to be supplanted by more nimble startups that "make everything inherently open and integrable" via the "twin revolutions" of microservices architecture and an explosion of new innovative procurement startups
Digital transformation will drive "a new procurement ecosystem that's built on a solid data foundation, offers a plug-and-play choice of easily onboarded apps, gives users a delightful, burden-free experience, and features an intelligence layer that produces insights across the entirety of the operating system."
Toward those ends, the prescriptions offered throughout the book (e.g., "How to do digital procurement") are richly detailed, clearly integrated, and illustrated with numerous anecdotes and real-life examples.
Epstein concludes: "Digital operations can turn procurement into the most mature, intelligent, and exciting function in the enterprise. In the process, we can be part of the solution to society's greatest problems. Now is our time to meet the moment."
About the Author
Dr. Elouise Epstein is a digital futurist and Kearney partner based in San Francisco. She has over two decades of experience working as a trusted adviser with clients to develop digital procurement and supply chain strategies. Known for her dry wit, historical anecdotes, and direct tone, Dr. Epstein is a frequent presenter on digital procurement. She is author of the new book Trade Wars, Pandemics, and Chaos: How Digital Procurement Enables Business Success in a Disordered World and a co-author of Disruptive Procurement: Winning in a Digital World.
You can follow Dr. Epstein on LinkedIn.
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