Salon Solutions — the premier annual Procurement event in France — is always exciting, and a great chance to hear the latest buzz and get a feel for what’s going on in the procurement, sourcing, supply chain industry. This three-day show in Paris was hugely successful in terms of attracting attendees to the Corcentric booth and engaging them on a personal level.
What’s more, speaking at various events was a chance to share our vision, as well as expertise and how-to pragmatism in digital transformation and automation technology around Procure-to-Pay, e-invoicing, catalog and category management, and supplier management with a much wider audience. The following six key factors for success are from one of our presentations during the procurement process Best Practices Round Table.
Two perspectives, six key points on the factors for success.
It’s clearly optimistic to try and boil the success of your procurement team’s and/or stakeholders’ projects down to just a handful of key factors. Still, the fact remains that the six points listed below are either overlooked or underestimated in most projects with which we’ve been involved in various capacities over the last fifteen years.
We’ll look at those half-dozen key points from two different perspectives: the business process (representing operational profit), and the project (representing the decisions made and implemented).
About the projected operational / business gains.
Collaboration: The human aspect behind the P2P process.
P2P represents more than just spend management, administrative savings, and tighter control over staff. For Corcentric client Acticall, Procure-to-Pay provided an opportunity to initiate collaboration that spanned the entire requisition workflow chain. The various prescriber departments are involved in the collaboration process based on their procurement roles, thus improving decision making for the good of the entire organization. Providing the means to collaborate capitalizes on a powerful performance lever: the instinctive need of people – who are by nature social animals – for collaboration.
Budget management is at the heart of Procure-to-Pay.
Our clients all agree: budget management, even non-constraining, automatically enables users to reduce spending (and also prevents open orders). Although reduced consumption, unnecessary procurement avoidance and self-regulation are immediate benefits of budget management within P2P, the solution is simply the implementation of company budget policy.
Virtualizing the Supplier Invoice chain.
However impressive the actual savings made possible by the virtualization of Supplier Invoices, they can only be realized once the “Requisition – Supplier Order – Receipt – Invoicing” chain has also been virtualized. After all, a chain’s performance depends on its weakest link — that’s why AP automation goes hand-in-hand with Procurement transformation.
Regarding the project: choosing and implementing.
Pre-project: RFI—an important stage.
The RFI stage is all too often overlooked. And yet, this is the time when you can compare your own requirements to the functions offered by mature marketplace solutions. Defining success criteria is a key element in this process.
During the Project: Project management assistance is one of the keys to success.
Project management assistance can play a major role in achieving implementation success. It’s important to have specialists on your side who understand your business and systems requirements – such as ERP and accounting – and who are also realistic about the functional possibilities of mature Procure-to-Pay solutions. This includes having advisory services that can concurrently provide change management expertise and benchmarking to streamline user adoption and generate a rapid ROI.
Post-Project: Don’t forget the whole lifespan of the project.
Initiating Procure-to-Pay is only the beginning of the story. Usage indicators, metrics, and KPIs must be monitored every quarter so administrator(s) can adjust processes and business rules in order to fine-tune the response based on organizational needs. How many great implementations have suffered from poor user service because of insufficient annual upgrades, budget allocations, and continuing user training?
Beyond Procure-to-Pay: Suppliers, Stakeholders, and Departments.
As Procurement professionals know all too well, some of the most important procure-to-pay best practices point outside the department. Establishing an airtight procurement process and strategy means going beyond strategic sourcing, requisitions, and purchase orders (POs) to include seamless real-time integration (people and processes) across workflows. Invoice processing, payments, contract lifecycle management, ERP systems integration, spend analytics — and of course the executive suite — are just some of the many areas that closer working relationships can produce business-level benefits.
Outside the company, supplier management also has to play a central role in how Procurement can best optimize spend management and cost savings to have a positive impact on cash flow and working capital, not to mention risk management. In this age of global business disruption through pandemics, climate change, and challenging political and social issues, maintaining outstanding supplier relationships must be at the heart of every supply management approach in order to minimize the impacts of supply chain problems plaguing world commerce.