The new frontiers of procurement in the digital age. Results of an empirical survey on procurement 4.0 in Italy

  • Silvia Bruzzi
  • Vincenzo Genco
  • Nicola Balbi
Keywords: enabling technologies; industry 4.0; procurement 4.0; innovation; change; Italy


Purpose of the paper: The paper presents the results of a research conducted through a university-business partnership, aimed at providing a first photo of enabling technologies in Procurement (Procurement 4.0) in Italian enterprises, both in terms of interest and cultural attitude and actual use.

Methodology: The research is conducted with a quantitative methodology, realized with an online questionnaire (CAWI), transmitted by the Italian Association of Procurement Managers (ADACI) via email to its members. The statistical analysis of the results is descriptive.

Results: The survey, with 51 recorded replies, collects a sample of innovative enterprises, with a good awareness of the role that enablig technologies can have and how strong the impact can be on business models procurement practice. These enterprises can therefore be considered as innovators able to act as a flywheel for the diffusion of enabling technologies along the supply chains they partecipate in.

Research limits: The research takes stock of a phenomenon that is still in the embryonic phase in Italy. The number of responses is therefore limited. New research will have to be carried out in order to strengthen and generalise the results, also through inferential statistical analysis.

Practical implications: The research provides information useful to researchers, policy-makers and practinioners to support their decision-making processes regarding a very innovative phenomenon, which is still little known in Italy.

Originality of the paper: Procurement 4.0 in Italy is still very little explored. The research, through a university-business partnership, provides a first original scientific contribution that will feed new research and support enterprises in this historical phase, which is crucial for the competitiveness of the Italian production system.


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