Deploying SAP and Coupa at the Same Time: A P2P Case Approach (Benefits and Lessons Learned)

Lately, we have been chronicling the deployment case study of an organization that deployed a new ERP (SAP) and P2P (Coupa) system at the same time (see earlier installments: here, here and here). In wrapping up the deployment lessons learned and benefits from this user, a number of key findings emerge:

  • Getting smaller suppliers off paper (paper is what they were using with Oracle iProcurement) requires multiple approaches – the results are likely to be better in this area once the supplier portal is implemented in 2015
  • Savings leakage reduction – the main goal. It has been hard to determine exactly how effective that has been at the moment, since they cannot get the right data baseline out of SAP (and the older Oracle data set). The Coupa data is there and growing (and indicates good progress) but the reference data is not available from ERP
  • The tool is working smoothly – with “great” user adoption so far (overall)
  • Metrics are developing – not just transactional data entry efficiencies, but steering users to the right supplier
  • Preferred supplier utilization is increasing, but this takes time. Also, the company has only 
been operational with the Coupa P2P for less than 3 quarters
  • A major additional benefit is getting buyers away from touching POs – if user requests 
conform to the process, i.e. go to preferred suppliers, then there is no buyer touching the process. This is a significant time saver, and the sourcing director’s buyer team can now spend more time on real value-add work.

Not everything went smoothly, however. There were some integration hiccups and challenges:

  • Bringing in old POs from Oracle EBS to SAP
  • PeopleSoft integration
  • SAP introduced a new G/L
  • Invoicing is done in SAP (the firm is not using Coupa invoicing) and there are material challenges with invoicing in SAP

Only experienced procurement and technology leaders with past experience in P2P and ERP deployments should attempt to take a parallel deployment path with new financials and e-procurement environments. But this case example proves it can be done.

This post is based on a case study profiling a company going through an ERP and P2P implementation at the same time in the Spend Matters white paper: Cloud P2P Deployment: A How-To Guide to SAP and ERP Integration with eProcurement and Beyond (free download). It is authored by Xavier Olivera, director of P2P research, Jason Busch, founder and managing director, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research.

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