Five Ways to Maximise Value from Procure-to-Pay Implementations

If you're interested in P2P technology and particularly if you are looking at a first time or renewal systems project, you might like to take a look at this paper, available from the BravoSolution  / Jaggaer website.

The briefing paper looks at purchase-to-pay (P2P) implementations and key points to consider to maximise the value that can be obtained from such systems. Organisations implementing P2P for the first time and those looking to improve current tools share many of the same goals and issues, and both can see a range of benefits arising from appropriate and well-chosen technology.

Here is a scene-setting excerpt - you can download the whole thing here, free on registration.

Introduction and Context – P2P “Virgins and Improvers”

Purchase-to-pay processes cover the activities supporting the acquisition of goods and services from the perspective of data, administration and payment - so “onboarding” suppliers, the requisitioning and ordering processes, delivery and receipt of goods and services, then finally invoicing and payment.

In terms of technology to support P2P processes, we see two types of P2P implementation. The first are what we might call “virgin” users. These organisations have never previously implemented a formal and specific purchase-to-pay system. There might be some sort of technology solution in place, perhaps a limited add-on to another system, or a home-grown system based on forms – electronic or indeed manual.

Or the process might be even less structured than that ....  We have seen organisations where the purchase-to-pay process is truly chaotic, and in reality starts in effect when an invoice is received! The instigator is traced, hopefully, they approve the invoice for payment (usually with a scribbled “OK to pay” on the physical invoice) and accounts payable then make that payment, with the record of that going into the finance system.

Generally, such organisations hit a point where the benefits of a more structured system become clear. This can be driven by a negative event – perhaps a procurement-related fraud grabs the attention. It may be a new senior manager joins and is shocked by the lack of control on spend, the information available, or the lost opportunity. Or an uprising amongst the user base or indeed the supply base takes place, as they revolt against the time wasted in finding suppliers, agreeing contracts and chasing invoices.

The second type of P2P implementation is seen in organisations that already have some sort of P2P process and a system in place. But as the market develops and products improve, they realise that there are different and better technology options available for them.  Typically, this is driven by levels of dissatisfaction with the user experience provided by the current system – something we will come back to later in the paper.

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