“Procure-to-Pay”, or P2P as it is generally referred to, is a term often used for transactional or operational procurement. It is a set of processes that starts with raising a request for a service or product and ends with payment of the Supplier. Functionally the process stretches across the silo’s of procurement and finance.
Those that are making P2P technology work hard for them are starting to capture double digit savings. The four key trends we are looking into are:
Mobile Technology. P2P technology is starting to catch up with the ubiquitous mobile technology in our lives. Approvals can be made on-the-go and advanced workflow capabilities are ironing out inefficiencies in the procure-to-pay process.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Increasingly businesses want technology and tools that are plug-and-play. They want to have the functionality they need, with the ability to scale up on short notice. SaaS is replacing bulky and outdated legacy systems at a pace.
Intelligence and high functionality. P2P technology providers today are building in analytics capabilities can be readily tapped to find ways to transform your shared services. The insight that can be pulled from your everyday data can help you find ways to not only cut costs, but to dramatically improve productivity. Plus, functionality that can enable early payment or dynamic discounting can make dramatic improvements to your working capital.
Social. In our private lives, we use technology including Amazon and eBay because they are not only convenient, but intuitive. They don’t require training, and they give us access to price comparisons, reviews and visibility into a wide range of the market. When your P2P technology is as easy to use as the B2C sites, enforcing compliance is no longer a headache, and onboarding suppliers can be as easy as approving friend requests.
In sum, the real differentiators in Procure-to-Pay are efficiency and a high quality service, and world-class processes and technology are the enablers. Leading shared services can weave their service into technology and are adding real value to the business by optimising their end-to-end process and providing new-found visibility into the business.
Modern Cloud technology allows organizations to automate the P2P process in a much more efficient and transparent manner. Whereas traditional technologies needed significant resources for development and integration with ERP and other business tools; today’s Cloud solutions offer best practice “out of the box”. Features that were traditionally only for the happy few or simply not available are now accessible for every organization at a fixed monthly fee; i.e. Mobile access, real-time benchmarking, advanced reporting, multi-lingual support,… Implementation of P2P Cloud services is more straightforward than with traditional solutions due to the lack of customization. The complete service can often be delivered at a much lower TCO than on-premise P2P solutions.
P2P technology & processes touch a large part of an organization’s users; almost the same number of users as email. This illustrates the importance and scale of Procure-to-Pay projects – and the potential benefits if you get it right. For most organizations the business case is a no-brainer and offers great ROI.
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