eProcurement Troubles: “Globalizing” P2P (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series, based on the Spend Matters research paper Avoiding “Dumb Ways to Die”: eProcurement and P2P Style Adoption Scenarios to Breathe Life into Implementations, we began to explore the challenges that come with global P2P implementations. There are many, and it’s critical not to underestimate them!

Some global and regional-specific P2P tailoring can be accomplished through better use of pre-existing capabilities, including rules-based workflow in various fields including monetary amounts, supplier type, spend category, region, etc. In most organizations, unfortunately, such efforts tend to be very crude and follow a one-size-fits-all model. Companies thinking about globalized deployments should hit the pause button on new or enhanced initiatives to consider optimal P2P buying and invoicing/ payment workflow.

All too often, we observe either excessive transactional anarchy (i.e., 1,000 ways to buy) or the opposite, an ERP-centric three-way match “transaction job shop” that forces users down a single buy/pay process likely to create pain and workarounds rather than the promised efficiencies and compliance.

Of course, this problem pre-dates eProcurement. It reminds us of a procurement or AP manager who insists on doing a match for a $25 invoice in which the average cost to enable a match may be more than the monetary amount of the invoice itself. An online workflow and approvals mishmash is nearly as bad as an offline one, especially when the interface is less than intuitive.

The value of a good user interface should never be underestimated, especially given an end-user push for increasingly intuitive “consumerized” user experiences (including mobile experiences beyond workflow approvals). This is not just about checking the box around having a mobile UI or mobile app, since an alarmingly high proportion of mobile interfaces are dysfunctional relative to local user requirements.

On a global basis, think like the Special Forces to understand what’s required. We recommend developing change-focused SWAT teams – your own “Delta Force” that jumps in and challenges the why/what/how assumptions to reconfigure the application to meet local needs.

Download the full paper on which this post is based: Avoiding “Dumb Ways to Die”: eProcurement and P2P Style Adoption Scenarios to Breathe Life into Implementations. The paper, authored by Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell and Jason Busch, is available for free download in our Spend Matters research library.

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