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What to look for in a procure-to-pay solution

By Bill McCouch | February 27, 2020
It can seem like an overwhelming task to choose the right procure-to-pay (P2P) software solution. Here are some key features and benefits that should help navigate the P2P maze.

Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

It can seem like an overwhelming task to choose the right procure-to-pay (P2P) software solution. This is especially true if this is your first foray into the digital P2P space.

Here are some key features and benefits that should help you navigate the maze of P2P solutions:

  • Cloud-based: The best P2P software is dynamic and based in the cloud. The software vendor is responsible for the functionality of the program and works with your company to support your ongoing business needs and processes.
  • Automated: Automation makes your operation more efficient and should make things easier for your procurement team. The process should be automated from requisition to purchase order to invoicing all the way through to invoice payment. Transactions should be transparent, validated and free from errors.
  • Configurable: All businesses are different and have different needs. A cookie cutter approach to the P2P process is not the answer. You want a system that adapts to your workflow and business needs.
  • Single data source: All the data needs to be in one place for maximum efficiency. Having data in one place promotes collaboration, improves user adoption, helps control spend (especially maverick/dark purchasing) and allows performance to be monitored.
  • Provides visibility: The best P2P solutions have dashboards that provide visibility into each step of the process. This visibility allows the procurement team to make better purchasing decisions and reduce costs.
  • Catalog management: The right P2P solution allows easy-to-navigate catalog searches. The search experience should be no different than a Google or Amazon search.
  • e-Invoicing: e-invoicing brings procurement and accounts payable into alignment. Not all P2P solutions offer e-invoicing, but the ones that do accelerate the payment portion of the P2P cycle with more visibility.
  • Reporting capabilities: Look for both automated reports and the ability to build custom reports. Reports give insight into what you are spending your money on and facilitate better spend management.
  • Spend analytics: The best P2P solutions capture real-time data on savings, supplier spend, spend by region, etc. They analyze the data and present it in a format that helps you improve efficiency and do a better job managing spend.
  • Integration with other tools: You get the most out of your P2P solution when it integrates with other modules that impact the procurement process, including contract management, supplier management, and sourcing.