Procurement Tech: Now and What’s to Come – Story Of Software S03E23

Nick Verkroost, CEO at Canopy, talks about the current state of the procurement software industry and his predictions for what’s next in this space.



The Guest – Nick Verkroost, CEO at Canopy

Nick Verkroost is the CEO at Canopy, an innovative supplier relationship management platform that gives procurement teams complete visibility of their supplier data and eliminates manual administration. With over 10 years of experience setting up and growing B2B technology companies, Nick has worked with organisations of all sizes to assess blind spots in their operational execution and organisational growth. 


The Strategic Significance of Procurement Tech in Modern Business

In the modern business landscape, technology procurement plays a pivotal role in enabling organisations to effectively acquire the necessary tools and resources to support their operations. While the market was once dominated by a handful of major players, the landscape has shifted dramatically over the last decade, giving rise to the rise of a new industry – Procurement Tech. These emerging entities are dedicated to addressing specific challenges within procurement processes, such as supplier relationship management and administrative automation.

The spotlight on Procurement Tech is intensifying, with a growing emphasis on data-driven solutions and the transformative potential of AI. This paradigm shift heralds a new era in procurement, where advanced analytics and AI algorithms promise to revolutionise operational efficiency and decision-making processes.

Some of the highlights in this episode include:

  • Common challenges faced in procurement
  • The evolving landscape of Procurement Tech
  • Why companies need procurement software 
  • The use of AI in the Procurement Tech 


Q: Nick, you made an eye opening point in a previous conversation on how despite the fact that procurement can be responsible for 70% – 80% of a company’s spending, the technology tools used by procurement teams are ‌usually very basic. Why is that?

Well, the reason for that is multifaceted, but I think it largely comes down to the history of how procurement has been perceived within organisations. Traditionally, procurement has been seen as a back-office function, primarily focused on cost reduction and transactional activities. As a result, investments in procurement technology have often been de-prioritized compared to other areas of the business, such as sales or marketing.

Additionally, there’s a misconception that procurement is a low-value, administrative function that doesn’t require sophisticated technology tools. Many organisations still rely on manual processes, spreadsheets, and email for managing supplier relationships and procurement activities.

Furthermore, the procurement technology landscape has been dominated by large, cumbersome enterprise solutions that are expensive to implement and maintain. These solutions often require significant customization and integration efforts, making them inaccessible to smaller organisations or those with limited IT resources.

However, the rise of cloud-based, SaaS solutions in recent years has started to democratise access to procurement technology. These solutions are more affordable, easier to implement, and offer scalability, making them accessible to organisations of all sizes.

Overall, while there has been progress in improving procurement technology, there is still a long way to go in terms of adoption and sophistication. Organisations need to recognize the strategic importance of procurement and invest in the right technology tools to enable their procurement teams to deliver maximum value to the business.


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