The phenomenal global success of Uber boiled down to a simple premise – that consumers wanted a way to source a traditional service more easily and cheaper than before. Its success has given rise to the so-called ‘Uberized’ economy. But what product or service is next?
Taxis were first, along with hotels (Airbnb), retail (Alibaba), real estate (Suitey) and car sales (Beepi). You can even look at media (Facebook) and freelancing (Upwork) and see similar disruption.
What these new organisations have in common is that they are network based, don’t own any inventory, stock or hard assets, and they all took an existing service and provided a more customer-centric, lower cost service.
Traditional professions like medicine and legal and financial services have been largely sheltered from this disruption so far, but this looks set to change.
End of the Old Guard
For some, these traditional professions have been viewed as ‘untouchable’ (this might be down to them working in these professions and trying to resist this shift), but, for others, the services offered by these professions was ripe for ‘Uberization’.
One profession viewed as ‘untouchable’ was the Legal profession and, more specifically, the provision of legal services. There is an increasing number of online start-ups aiming to provide this more ‘customer-centric’ service than has been available previously.
Not only do these companies offer a cheaper service, but also a simplified purchasing experience for individuals and organisations. Services can be purchased on a task-to-task basis, rather than paying by the hour. The concept of a set fee for services, like the offering from Avvo, is an attractive one, particularly for a procurement department.
An overall spend figure for legal services is hard to come by, but, with global banks spending over £200bn, and spend with the UK arm of global law forms topping £28.5bn, it would be safe to give a conservative estimate of around anywhere between £500bn and £750bn.
In 2013/14, local authorities in the UK spent £156m on legal services. Although these costs were down on the previous three years, it seems there is still plenty of scope for further reduction.
While many procurement teams may have been shut out of the process of purchasing legal services, the ability to reduce the cost, while at the same time retaining the service level required by internal stakeholders, leaves procurement in a powerful position.
Put simply, procurement can make changes for the better and a good place for them to start is with these ‘Uberized’ companies. Not only could costs be reduced, but also time spent on lengthy (and often costly) tender processes.
So if one ‘untouchable’ can fall victim to the ‘Uberized Economy’, then which one might be next? Some suggest that Financial Services might be the next profession to be ‘Uberized’.
With many similarities to the Legal profession, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason why you might end up getting your financial services via an app in the not-to-distant future.
And as people move towards vertical marketplaces, where a few things are done well, in depth, rather than the common horizontal marketplace with multiple avenues carried out in less detail, it’s likely that other professions will follow suit.
Now, if only there was a vertical network for procurement that people could take advantage of…
Do you procure legal services for your organisation? How would this impact your job – would it be a positive thing for you? Join us and start a discussion on the future of ‘untouchable’ professions.
While you’re digesting the main event, why not check out this week’s main headlines from procurement and supply chain for your Monday morning tea break…
Police asked to investigate London Garden Bridge Contracts
- Scotland Yard has reportedly been pressed to investigate allegations the procurement process behind the capital’s planned garden bridge “was rigged”
- The central allegation is that the procurement process was rigged and that designer Thomas Heatherwick and engineering firm Arup had been lined up to win the contracts before tenders were issued
- Further revelations have shown that meetings were not recorded in London Mayor, Boris Johnson’s, diary, where go ahead was given for the process
- There are also questions over how Arup won its contract, and why it was asked to resubmit its bid while other firms were not
Read the ongoing story at The Guardian
iPad Pro Launch Date Leaked
- According to Mac Otakara, a Japanese blog, the release date for the new product is set for the 6th of November
- Although a highly guarded secret, the blog spoke with workers in the Apple supply chain in China and gathered information from them
- Apple still has the iPad Pro listed on their website as “Available November”, and hasn’t commented on the leak
Read more on Ledger Gazette
Demand-Driven Perishables Offer Fresh Look for Groceries
- Up to 133 billion pounds of food is wasted annually in the U.S. alone – at a staggering cost of $162bn
- Cognizant has created a new infographic aimed at showing how a demand-driven model can reduce inventory, spoilage and wastage
- A demand-driven replenishment model can help grocers better anticipate supply requirements, improve storage and maintain food freshness
Check out the infographic on Cognizant
General Mills recall set to impact supply chain
- FMCG giant General Mills is recalling 1.8 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios, as they are thought to contain gluten
- The company said wheat flour had been “inadvertently introduced” into its gluten-free oat flour used to make original and Honey Nut Cheerios
- The company are unsure how much the recall will cost them in cash-terms, but look set to be the latest organisation to suffer from a reputational hit
- The case shows that supply chains need to be aware of track and trace systems and the supply chain will be reviewed in light of the incident
Read more at the BBC