Procurement Technology Throughout Time
To best understand the world we live in today, we often look to history. The same is true for procurement. Understanding the roots of procurement will help us to understand the challenges we face today.
The earliest procurement traces back to the first record keepers. The earliest written records date back 5,000 years in Egypt and ancient Sumer. These early records were largely used for accounting and inventory. Record keepers used cuneiform marks made by reeds on clay tablets to take inventory of property, livestock, and food. Modern procurement is much more technical, but these records indicate the innate importance of procurement in the success of any civilization.
Procurement & the Industrial Revolution
Jumping forward a few millennia, let’s visit the Industrial Revolution. Productivity surged as machines and locomotives became the standard of production and transportation. While taking inventory was nothing new, the importance of procurement grew with productivity. The increased globalization and complex supply chain we see today mirrors what businesses during the Industrial Revolution experienced.
This incredible change in production meant a greater need for material management. Many of the challenges faced during the Industrial Revolution are still relevant and critical to today’s procurement leaders.
Modern Technology & Procurement
In the late 1990s, digital technology became a key driver for procurement progress. ‘Modern Procurement,’ in a technological sense, really began with ERPs, which primarily served large enterprises. ERP was created in the early 1960s (though the term ERP would not be coined until the early 90s) and primarily dealt with planning and scheduling materials for manufacturing. Throughout the 70s, ERP solutions grew, but remained “big, clumsy and expensive.”
SAP was introduced during this time with the goal of standardizing software for integrated business solutions. Through the ensuing decades, procurement evolved. Eventually procurement solutions went online, then solutions went mobile.
Today, some procurement solutions integrate with powerful ERP systems to provide a fully-functioning process. As technology has improved, costs of technology have dropped.
Many small and mid-size businesses were excluded from the best procurement solutions because of high costs. Companies who once relied on ‘home-made’ Excel-powered procurement, now find that they have access to powerful mobile-ready procurement.
Modern procurement solutions, like Vroozi, help businesses of all sizes to achieve the best in spending insights, spend tracking, suppliers relationships and all things procurement.