How Supplier Network Systems Fit With E-Invoicing: The Role of P2P and E-Procurement

supplier network

Separate from supplier networks, e-procurement and purchase-to-pay (P2P) systems enable a range of hard dollar cost reduction benefits by reducing off-contract purchases, lowering purchase volume in general, improving operating efficiency, increasing PO throughput per full-time equivalent and bringing greater spend under management and lower contract rates. 

These systems do this by supporting a range of capabilities, including supplier onboarding, catalog management, supplier portal, workflow/process management, requisitioning, approval/status, order management/visibility, inventory/asset management and supplier connectivity. 

The overlap between e-invoicing solutions and supplier network and P2P capabilities can be significant, especially in the areas of supplier onboarding, connectivity and portal capabilities. Given this, it can be important for procurement and A/P organizations to decide what capabilities of which solution area they want to leverage in case of overlap.

Increasingly, specialist e-invoicing providers are beginning to confront the fact that some organizations are looking for combined e-procurement and e-invoicing solutions. Some are partnering with e-procurement providers while others have ambitions to build or enhance their own capabilities. Those that decide to treat e-invoicing separate and not “build, buy or partner” are typically focused on enabling more advanced compliance and regulatory/tax e-invoicing localization capabilities on a global basis.

There is not a right answer to how companies should look at buying e-procurement and e-invoicing today – either together or separate. But generally, the more global or complicated their requirements, the more likely they are to separate out the decision process.

This article is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits. Authored by Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, with input and guidance from Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin, it provides a foundation for organizations considering or already putting in place an electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) or purchase-to-pay (P2P) program.

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