Ardent Partners turns the spotlight on Determine.
Holistic as a word was first used 80 years ago. That’s why it’s a bit surprising that the concept is just now gaining real traction in source-to-pay. But, as Ardent Partners explains in their report, the shift is happening because of the intersection of modern competitive business pressures and continuing innovation in technology. This has forced – and enabled – leading enterprises to take a more holistic view of their supply management workflow. As this Solution Spotlight also shows, this is signaling a rising interest and adoption of source-to-pay platforms.
Responsiveness – call it agility, flexibility, nimbleness – and being able to pivot on a dime to address changing business realities has become critical. This can prove difficult to source-to-pay and procurement professionals, since processes span multiple functions and stakeholders. That’s where embracing what Ardent Partners calls the “Arc of Source-to-Pay” comes in. A seamless streamlining and linking of processes and sub-processes, this creates a cumulative effect, an amplification from one process to the next.
The holistic is greater than the sum of its parts.
This integration is something Constantine Limberakis, VP of Product Marketing here at Determine, covered in great detail in a recent webinar. Enhancing the confluence of functional areas – in that case, procurement and accounts payable – increases visibility and transparency, reduces risk and cycle times, improves savings and cost control and significantly speeds workflow. Not just for one department, but for both. An example is an invoice created from a PO generated by a system; as Ardent Partners points out, it’s pretty much a guarantee to match the original PO and so will get processed much more quickly, or straight-through.
Ardent Partners’ spotlight calls out the example of connecting supplier information management and contract management solutions. Each on its own brings measurable advantages to organizations. The combination of the two is where the true power lies – the force multiplier – by streamlining onboarding, enhancing compliance and empowering teams to aggregate and leverage enormous amounts of verified shared data. In this day and age of greater regulations and accountability, being able to continuously monitor and/or validate suppliers to mitigate third-party risk is mandatory.
The platform advantage.
To achieve a holistic perspective and practice, integration is everything. To derive the maximum value from visibility and efficiency, that means a platform. Point solutions and cobbled-together suite solutions can work together, but can’t reach the level of seamlessness or single source of data that a true cloud platform offers. When connecting multiple solutions, each with a robust workflow, the integration made possible on a platform is critical. Linking those many workflows across the wider source-to-pay continuum, especially with shared master data and metadata, calls for business process management built-in on the core. This integration is key to establishing the requisite collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness, something we call achieving Platformance.
The Ardent Partners spotlight goes on to further explain and detail the many advantages of a holistic source-to-pay platform approach that combines sourcing, procurement, contract lifecycle management, supplier management, invoicing, analytics and more. A few of these include reducing complexity, easier updates and enhancements, improve data visibility and quality and others. The report ends with an objective assessment of the Determine Cloud Platform and solution capabilities, parsed against all these criteria.
The upshot is, best-in-class enterprises are well on their way across the arc of source-to-pay efficiency, and it’s worth following their example.