The concept of ‘the paperless office’ is not a new one. The phrase first appeared in 1975, in a Business Week magazine which made the bold prediction that “by 1990, most record-handling will be electronic.”
In the years since that prediction, offices have transformed to bring key processes online, dramatically reducing their reliance on paper files and gaining greater efficiency and insight. However, in procurement, bankers boxes of paper and overstuffed filing cabinets continue to be the norm, with many teams still relying on paper-based processes for their sourcing.
Procurement teams have multiple reasons for keeping paper around even while other areas of the organization modernize, whether it’s lagging laws that require paper copies, a lack of funding for digital tools, or simply comfort with the ‘way things have always been.’ However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent to procurement leaders that the status quo is no longer sustainable.