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[CPO Magazine] The Importance of Controlling Indirect Purchases of the Business

This article was translated from its original version, published in Spanish at

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AI and natural language processing technology have revolutionized the way we shop. CPO Magazine chatted with Alejandro Schipani, Global Head of Delivery at Aquanima, to delve into this major change and further discuss the recent agreement between Aquanima and Globality. AI opens up possibilities that we can’t physically access, but that doesn’t mean that our teams are going to play any less of a role than the one they play now. Procurement continues to strengthen its strategic contribution to companies, playing an increasingly proactive and fundamental role in all areas of decision-making.

Utilizing Globality gives us the help of resources such as Glo, our AI partner, which will enable us to make independent purchasing by users a reality.
Alejandro Schipani
Global Head of Delivery, Aquanima

CPOMagazine: Aquanima and Globality have joined forces to enable the digitalization of the purchasing process. What benefits does this agreement offer for users?

Alejandro Schipani: In the case of purchasing, as has happened in other sectors, the current environment has forced us to adjust rapidly to new business models in order to meet the needs of our customers in the ways they require. For this, having digital tools and processes has become more mandatory than ever to continue to provide the best service. At Aquanima, it was clear to us that in order to continue providing excellence in spend management strategy in the ways we have always done—bringing value to our customer in all phases of the process—we needed to go a step further in terms of digitization.

Utilizing Globality gives us the help of resources such as Glo, our AI partner, which will enable us to make independent purchasing by users a reality. In this sense, we will start with boosting self-service by providing our customers with a wider range of digital channels, through which they will be able to satisfy their needs in a more agile and simple way.

At Aquanima, we believe this is a fundamental milestone because the idea we currently have of RFXs must change radically. Thanks to the application of artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology, Glo acts as a guide through questions that help users define each request and then delivers a complete comparison of possible suppliers who can provide them with the services they need. Then with just a few clicks, they can start contracting services. Therefore, we are seeing a new way of purchasing that empowers users and gives them the opportunity to make purchasing decisions autonomously—while still maintaining access to our expert managers' advice whenever it's needed.

CPOM: What will this Platform bring to procurement?

A.S.: This new way of completing the purchasing process not only will have an impact on users but also will mean a substantial change in the strategic role we play for our customers today. Following the trend in recent years, the procurement function continues to strengthen its strategic contribution to companies and will play an increasingly proactive and fundamental role in all areas of decision-making. For this reason, we have opted for Globality because AI allows us to transform how we provide solutions to users’ demands and strengthen the change from a reactive to a proactive position. Thanks to this technological investment, we will be able to understand and analyze the customer’s purchasing behavior in much greater detail. This means getting to know them better, being able to diversify our range of services according to their requirements, providing them with a much more complete solution, and even anticipating their needs through this learning process.

We know that ensuring the security of operations is imperative. That is why we maintain the assurance that the process meets all the compliance requirements demanded by our regulators and agents. This technology helps us make the process transparent, which is key in our industry.

CPOM: How will you change the way the purchasing organization operates?

A.S.: When we talk about these matters, we must not forget that digital transformation implies that technology must work hand in hand with people.

The former cannot exist without the latter, and vice versa. Of course, AI opens up possibilities that we physically cannot reach, but that does not mean our teams will play a less important role than they play now. On the contrary, their position and expertise are more important than ever. What all these developments do imply is a change of role: a more strategic profile that requires new skills such as data and user behavior analysis, tool parameterization, and others. And, in parallel, companies are obligated to advance in talent management. In addition, the savings and optimization of tactical tasks that applying Globality’s technology provides bring us something highly valuable: time—time to analyze strategic opportunities, time to look for new ways of relating with suppliers, and time to think about new management models. As a leading company in strategic sourcing management, we are certainly convinced that the agreement with Globality is a great opportunity to continue advancing and consolidating our leadership in providing value to all our customers.

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