"Purchasing 4.0," as it’s known, could not only sustainably reduce costs, but also effectively reduce pesky maverick buying: inefficient purchasing by individual positions without the authorization of the purchasing department. At least that’s the opinion of the more than 100 procurement decision-makers from medium-sized and large companies surveyed by the Federal German Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME) and OpusCapita GmbH.
Following the Industry 4.0 model, BME managing director Dr. Christoph Feldmann is focusing on digital networking between several companies: The objective is to jointly encourage innovation in terms of a value-added network. A preliminary study conducted by BME and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in 2016 came to the conclusion that purchasing would look "completely different" in the future. The Fraunhofer researchers forecast changes in all the relevant aspects: in technologies and systems in organization and processes, in management and in human resources as well as in the business models themselves.