Introducing the Determine P2P Starter Kit, Part One: The P2P 101 Guide
It is amazing what procurement professionals can accomplish with nothing more than spreadsheets, email and a phone. We can source, manage suppliers, track spend and report savings. In fact, we are so resourceful and so good at cobbling together solutions that we often stay with that approach longer than we should – especially considering how much is at stake for the company and its customers. [inlinetweet prefix=”#procurement” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The challenge for procurement is knowing when the time is right to make the switch to a procure-to-pay (P2P) platform[/inlinetweet].
If any of the following situations sound familiar, then congratulations! You are ready for P2P.
Congratulations! You spend more time updating reports than working with stakeholders and suppliers.
Excel-based reports become stale the minute they are complete. And while it is easy to customize views and data, and use formulas for analysis, they have to be manually updated. The more relied upon these reports are, the more time procurement has to spend updating them. Data entry offers no value-add when compared with the opportunities represented by meeting with internal stakeholders or collaborating with suppliers. P2P-based reports not only remain current because they are directly linked to spend data and transaction status, they can be regenerated frequently and quickly with very little time investment from procurement.
Congratulations! You frequently field questions that people could answer themselves.
Who do I order this from? Has my order been approved? Where is my order? Procurement hears these questions all the time, and it feels good to be the person with all the answers. The problem is, procurement only has the answers to these common questions after going to get them. Just as with spreadsheet-based reporting, tracking down information takes time and effort. And if procurement isn’t available when a question arises, people have to wait – leading to frustration, maverick spend, and poor internal relationships. With P2P, users can often answer their own questions. From managed catalogs to centralized approvals, being able to track the status of a supply order from request through delivery puts the power of knowledge directly into the hands of procurement’s stakeholders.
Congratulations! You spend whole afternoons tracking down one supplier’s payment status.
Although procurement’s focus is often on internal needs, we can’t forget to support our suppliers. Whether they are transactional or strategic, these companies make it possible for our business to operate. If they are dissatisfied, our prices go up, our service levels go down, and we miss the opportunity to be more strategic in the management of spend. What makes suppliers unhappy like nothing else? Not being paid on time and being unsure about when a payment has been approved or will be issued. Suppliers are stakeholders just as much as distributed buyers are. P2P platforms increase transparency into the payment process for everyone, increasing supplier satisfaction and containing procurement’s time investment to the management of exceptions.
Congratulations! You dread disputes regarding orders, deliveries, budgets and payments.
Procurement may be “getting by” on spreadsheets and emails, but how will they hold up under intense scrutiny? When you’re managing a lot of spend, buyers and suppliers, eventually something is going to go wrong. When it does, procurement is inevitably called in to provide relevant facts such as terms and conditions, timelines, dollar values and documentation. Would you rather be answering these questions by flipping through spreadsheets and searching through emails or by logging into a P2P platform and pulling up a linked series of information tracking the transaction from catalog to payment? That seems like an easy choice to make.
You are ready for P2P. So what are you waiting for?
The above challenges aren’t an indication that your current approach is bad or that procurement is under-serving the company – unless, of course, you allow them to continue. P2P platforms centralize and streamline a series of processes and information. They serve the needs of procurement, buyers, finance, accounts payable and suppliers alike. If there is a difficult case to be made, it is why procurement shouldn’t make the switch to P2P. Congratulations!
Download our P2P 101 Guide, register for the Determine P2P Starter Kit Webinar and Demo, and then schedule a no-obligation personalized demonstration of how you can accelerate your procure-to-pay process with our Procurement Solution on the Determine Cloud Platform.