The University of Connecticut's Procurement Services invites applications for the position of Procurement Analyst (UCP 8). Reporting to the Associate Director of Procurement Services and within the strategic objectives set-forth by the University, the Procurement Analyst will serve as a liaison in support of the campus community's research and information technology procurement needs.
The analyst team at Ardent Partners has been writing about procurement people, processes, technologies, and industry best practices that have helped to propel the profession forward even before the firm's creation. In the nearly 20 years since, we have seen the development of innovative, game-changing technologies, like business process automation tools, mobile devices and applications, social-collaborative tools, cloud-based technologies, and solution suites. At the time of their development, these were considered "advanced;" but today, they permeate the business landscape and would hardly be considered so. Still, they continue to improve business processes, drive value, and make lives a lot easier for sourcing and procurement practitioners. Choosing a supply management solution or solution suite today can be a difficult decision.
Stein, Sebastian (University of Southampton) | Gerding, Enrico (University of Southampton) | Rogers, Alex (University of Southampton) | Larson, Kate (University of Waterloo) | Jennings, Nicholas R. (University of Southampton)
Emerging service-oriented technologies allow software agents to automatically procure distributed services to complete complex tasks. However, in many application scenarios, service providers demand financial remuneration, execution times are uncertain and consumers have deadlines for their tasks. In this paper, we address these issues by developing a novel approach that dynamically procures multiple, redundant services over time, in order to ensure success by the deadline. Specifically, we first present an algorithm for finding optimal procurement solutions, as well as a heuristic algorithm that achieves over 99% of the optimal and is capable of handling thousands of providers. Using experiments, we show that these algorithms achieve an improvement of up to 130% over current strategies that procure only single services. Finally, we consider settings where service costs are not known to the consumer, and introduce several mechanisms that incentivise providers to reveal their costs truthfully and that still achieve up to 95% efficiency.
First, it is important for procurement organisations and their leaders to embrace the reality and potential for AI and cognitive procurement. Understand that, like most technologies, AI may bring changes, but it also presents significant opportunities. Next, based on the capabilities outlined above, think about what projects or processes in your organisation could most benefit from cognitive procurement. As you apply AI to certain procurement tasks and processes, you'll begin developing internal capability and expertise. It will also change the profile and enhance the skill set of your procurement professionals.