The iSource Summit kicked off today in the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The show features the top 100 e-procurement companies and their leading executives.
Summit organizers challenged e-procurement executives with the unique opportunity to present their businesses in about ten minutes; not an easy task. Attendees applauded the arrangement, as it forced speakers to cut to the chase immediately.
In the initial speech, Doug Moore, founder of iSource, shared this thought: Industry consortia, if treated with the attitude of inclusiveness, will be the greatest equalizer since the flint musket. Moore also challenged companies in the B2B e-procurement space. In three years, one third of business transactions will be conducted over the Internet. If we truly believe that, we must ask ourselves why isn't it happening today?
One trend is becoming clear from the speakers. Online procurement is moving into its next phase. Both Ken Wyrick of Eventra and Exemplary Software VP of Marketing Sami Cassis de-emphasized lower purchase prices for direct materials as the largest benefit of e-procurement. They implied that lower prices are a given over time. Wyrick and Cassis suggested that the real benefits are in addressing shortages and the time-sensitive nature of direct materials.
PurchasePro Senior VP of marketing Chris Benyo cited inertia as the largest competitor to e-procurement. Education, training, and perhaps most importantly, encouragement are needed to really make e-procurement systems effective.
During the Summit, Moore announced iSource's new partnership with Question.com in building intelligence Exchange, the first forum that helps users get answers from industry experts on e-procurement and online supply chain management.