Best of 2017 – A Fine Procurement and Finance Romance and the Evolution of Procurement

Continuing our review of the papers we published this year, let’s turn today to two quite different papers. For Basware, procurement and invoicing technology experts, we discussed finance and procurement in the paper available here - “Procurement & Finance – A Fine Purchase-to-Pay Romance Or The Best Of Enemies?”

In the paper, we look at the purchase-to-pay (P2P) process, which every single organisation that buys anything from external suppliers must execute in some manner. In most organisations, both the procurement and the finance functions have an interest and involvement in P2P, which runs from initial contact with the supplier and ordering of goods or services, through to invoicing and payment.

We look at the areas of common P2P interest between the two parties, which are many. But perhaps it is even more interesting to look at why procurement and finance can sometimes disagree or work in less than perfect harmony! So we dive into three key issues that can make even a beautiful relationship run into trouble. What is it in the P2P world that can make even the most collaborative procurement or finance executive start to regard their colleagues in the other function as unhelpful, not strategically aligned – or just plain ‘difficult’?

It’s a fascinating question, as the two functions should be seriously aligned yet often aren’t. And purchase-to-pay technology can bring the two together, or drive them apart. Which is it in your organisation? We should mention the excellent graphics in this paper, nothing to do with us, and everything to do with the creativity and talent of Basware’s marketing folk and their designer. The content is good, don’t get me wrong, but the graphics are great too!

Then we had the paper we produced with Comensura, contingent labour services experts. The title was The Evolution of Procurement and What it Means for Managing Contingent Labour.

In the paper, we cover both some thinking about where procurement is headed in this world of “everything as a service”, and take a look at how procurement is addressing that particular complex spend category (contingent labour) to meet the changing expectations of our stakeholders. It’s a tricky category given the number of stakeholders in most organisations and the quite different needs they can have.

But back to the “as-a-service” concept – what does it mean when we apply it to procurement?  We can’t deliver procurement to our internal stakeholders purely from “the cloud”, so is it meaningless in this sense?

Perhaps not. There are we believe some useful ideas sitting behind the “as-a-service” cliché that procurement functions should consider. There may even be a couple of situations in which a real “as a service” model might work for certain organisations – we get into this more in the paper too, which is available to download free on registration here through this link.

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