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Automating Negotiation in Procurement

The ideas of machine learning and artificial intelligence are terrifying for many people. But, the boundless potential of technology is exciting, especially when it can add to efficiency in our work. Does this mean the world will be taken over by robots? No. But where machine learning and artificial intelligence can play a role in making people’s jobs more comfortable, there is mostly upside.

On the latest episode of Negotiations Ninja, I spoke with Fairmarkit co-founders, Tarek Alaruri and Kevin Frechette. Fairmarkit helps organizations peel back their tail spend, automating the entire procurement process, including negotiation.

Kevin and Tarek say that one of the most significant issues they’ve seen in organizations on procurement teams are the resources available to handle and negotiate mid-sized deals properly. Their automated system takes this procurement inefficiency and handles every detail to ensure nothing is being missed or neglected.

One of the biggest benefits of incorporating this technology is that everything is recorded. When a deal is made over the phone, unless that call is being recorded and logged and the data is being taken from it, nothing is learned to improve upon or help others make similar calls. In using an automated technology, every step, every detail is recorded and added to the data pool and learned from for future interactions.

Tarek says, “It stems from a culture of learning and transformation.” He says he looks up to companies who build innovation into their culture and that we need to innovate in negotiation and teach best practices.

A culture of innovation has to come from the top down. There are companies that give their staff dedicated innovation time, companies that encourage their staff to think about how to make their jobs better and more efficient. Encouraging innovation is a 21st-century business necessity to ensure longevity in our ever-adapting technological world.

Incorporating new systems and technology into an existing role, however, often comes with challenges. Still as Kevin says, you have to explain, “why it’s important for their role, why it’s important for the organization, why it’s important for their customers. That it aligns procurement with the rest of the organization. And that’s what truly enables the ability to bring new technology and have it adopted.”

For more from Tarek and Kevin, subscribe to Negotiations Ninja podcast and find me on LinkedIn.