Mapping Out the Best P2P Solution for Your Company
When was the last time your organization reevaluated the procure-to-pay (P2P) process?
If it’s been a few years—or no one’s ever taken a strategic look at the whole process, then mapping out the best P2P solution for your company can help your business save money and improve the whole procure-to-pay process.
The P2P process of working with suppliers, identifying the best purchases, placing orders, receiving goods, processing invoices, and making payments is a vital part of doing business. Taking time to map out the links between procurement, receiving, and accounts payable can pay off big in the long run, making the P2P process more strategic and saving both time and money.
Assemble a Team
Before you get started mapping out the best P2P solution for an organization, make sure all the key stakeholders are involved. These stakeholders will include finance leadership, direct stakeholders including the procurement department and accounts payable, and indirect stakeholders such as IT since they’ll be involved in choosing and implementing software solutions.
When mapping an end-to-end solution, you’ll want stakeholders on the committee from all levels of the organization. From the CFO to the employee paying utility bills, the P2P process has a wide-ranging effect. While you don’t need to involve every individual, make sure you have representatives from all the key groups to help map the improved P2P solution.
Now that you have your team of stakeholders assembled, it’s time to get to work. Before mapping out a new and improved P2P process for your organization you need to know what you’re working with already. You’ll also need a plan for what to keep, change, or add.
Work with the stakeholders to outline a procurement strategy to act as a guide for your planning process. Take a close look at the procure-to-pay process you’re using now and how it fits into the overall company procurement strategy and financial plan. Pin down what you need the P2P process to do before moving ahead with a plan.
Charting the Course
Once you’ve outlined how the procure-to-pay process fits into your organization and what you need to meet business goals it’s time to map out the P2P strategy for your company. Consider questions like these:
- What are our top priorities? (e.g. curtailing maverick spending, aligning AP and purchasing, easing the burden on IT, etc.)
- What are our secondary priorities?
- Do we have a detailed list of requirements for what P2P software must be able to do?
- Will we do 2-way (PO and invoice) or 3-way (PO, goods received, and invoice) matching?
- Can the process we’re designing scale?
- Which KPIs will we use to measure the performance of the P2P system?
- Do we need to update any policies related to the procure-to-pay cycle?
- Will employees need remote access to the system? (e.g. work-from-home employees, employees who are traveling.)
You’ll probably come up with additional considerations as your team works through mapping out the best P2P solution for your company, but these questions are a good starting point.
Choosing the Right Supplier
Once you have a clear idea of what you need your system to do, it’s time to find software that can meet your needs. Business Process Automation (BPA) software from a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company can work with your existing ERP to enable more efficient, cost-effective procure-to-pay management.
You’ll need to make sure your chosen supplier can meet the needs you identified during the planning phase. Most importantly for a strategic, integrated P2P system, you’ll need software that can work together and integrate accounts payable and purchasing.
Good software suppliers will provide demos that let you see their software in action. Come up with a list of questions to ask each vendor that you’re evaluating. It can also be useful to write a “demo script” that you share with the vendor beforehand outlining the sorts of things that you need the software to do in your organization.
Implementation and Beyond
Once you’ve found a supplier that matches your needs, the next step will be implementing the software solution. Both implementation and software integration will be much easier if you get all your P2P software solutions from the same supplier.
For cloud-based BPA solutions, implementation can happen relatively quickly and doesn’t put an additional burden on your in-house IT department. Going forward, your SaaS supplier will handle any software updates for you.
With BPA software, you’ll start seeing return on investment immediately. The software will make the purchasing process simpler, automatically match POs with invoices, and process payments quickly. No more late fees, manual data-entry errors, or time lost to routine paperwork tasks. This all results in reduced costs with faster turn-around times.
Get On-Course with NextProcess
NextProcess is an industry leader in P2P technology. Our innovative software makes the whole procure-to-pay process as simple as possible for your company. We also offer one of the highest successful implementation rates in the business and ongoing customer service support. Our software also works seamlessly with ERPs and we have extensive experience integrating our systems with ERPs like NetSuite, SAP, MS Business Central, and more.
In our procurement software, you’ll find user-friendly tools like punch-out and item catalogs to streamline purchasing and automatically enforce policy compliance. Our accounts payable software communicates seamlessly with the purchasing software, allowing for automated payment of PO-linked invoices in 12 hours or less. We also offer payment disbursement services so you can outsource different types of payments.
If you’re interested in seeing first-hand how NextProcess can help your company implement your mapped-out plan for improved P2P, contact us today. We’ll be happy to schedule a free demo so you can watch our software in action and ask any questions you might have for us.