Procurement and Supply Chain Digital Maturity Survey
Visichain’s Digital Maturity survey was designed to help executives answer two questions:
1. Where are we now?
2. What should we do next?
In our experience, digital maturity can be categorized as five distinct phases:
Getting from one phase of digital maturity to another phase is a sequential process that requires having the right ‘building blocks’ in place first.
Moving through each phase is a slow process of growth that can often take years. Knowing where your firm stands is vital to avoid costly missteps.
Find Out Your Digital Maturity Score
Visichain measures Digital Maturity across five broad domains of procurement:
1. Negotiations and Ordering
2. Payments and Authorization
3. Compliance Verification
Measuring and scoring across these domains allows the Digital Maturity survey to capture the unique digitization challenges each firm faces.
For instance, a firm might be using spreadsheets to track logistics but use enterprise software systems to track compliance certifications.
Survey-takers who request a detailed analysis of their survey results receive a report within fifteen working days showing how they scored across each of these domains.
These custom reports help you answer, “what next?”
You'll gain insight into the opportunities, risks, and pathways to move from one phase to another in each domain.
In general, the answer is threefold: centralization, integration, and automation.
All three become interdependent as firms digitally mature, but there is a sequence.
From Phase One to Two, firms move from having no clear software-enforced workflows or processes to moving information from email chains and document templates into spreadsheets via manual entry.
By Phase Three, data is still being manually entered by the spreadsheets now have VBA scripts that share information and updates to other spreadsheets and enterprise software.
Proper user access-control emerges at this point, too. Centralized databases emerge by Phase Four and share data provided directly from the source across the system.
While the amount and quality of information offered to management in employees to make better decisions more efficiently in Phase Four are impressive, the decision-making process is almost entirely scripted and automated by Phase Five.
There are some new technologies we have seen demonstrated that might allow firms to skip from Stage Three to Five.
However, at present, we advise companies to think of these steps as strictly sequential. For both cultural and technological reasons, we think it’s impossible for a firm to move from the disorganized clutter of Stage One: Manual to VBA-scripted Excel spreadsheets or a centralized database.
Rather, it’s a process of growth – maturity – of digitizing piles of printed paperwork into spreadsheets, then automating those spreadsheets with VBA, and then porting that data into centralized databases that interact with enterprise software.
The same is true of vendor portals and dashboards.
There are necessary transitory steps between having bids and compliance certifications submitted via email chains, migrating to a portal, and then developing the portal out such that it can manage every interaction with vendors across the five domains of procurement.
Similarly, dashboards can only be deployed in Phase Three when spreadsheets provide them with updated information. And it is only when spreadsheets are ditched entirely for a centralized database that up to date KPI’s can be computed and piped to dashboards.
The custom report will likely show that your firm is more mature in some areas more than others.
The sequential nature of the phases of digital maturity means that firms should focus first on leveling-up each domain of procurement to the same phase of development before attempting to advance to the next stage.
For instance, it is risky and makes little sense to move logistics from Phase Three to Five if production and payment authorizations and compliance verification are still stuck at Phase Two. Once every domain is roughly at the same level, it’s time for the next step.