The last and perhaps most important Step in any source-to-pay process automation exercise does not focus on the business case and implementation of new source and procure-to-pay processes. Why? Well, if you’ve followed the previous steps correctly, the implementation of any new process or technology should be based on a deliverable roadmap that can be effectively implemented and continuously monitored.
The most critical step in any source-to-pay transformation occurs once the project implementation is complete. Unfortunately, this is also the stage where most projects fail because most people treat transformation as a project with a defined start and end date.
We’ve all seen over-hyped transformation projects fail to deliver on their original promise as quickly as everyone expected, and subsequently struggle to garner the broader buy-in and cross-organizational support they need. Many professionals also struggle to measure the ROI of their investment.
It’s a real shame because procure-to-pay transformations are one of the few projects a company can undertake absolutely measurable constantly.
All too often, the focus of a digital transformation project is the technology itself, and once it’s implemented, everyone goes back to what they were doing before. Technology is always just a enabler and not a complete solution. If you don’t drive adoption and make people’s lives easier, nobody will use your chosen technology.
Remember to ask yourself the following key questions once your new system is installed and the solution provider follow-up is over:
· Is the process working as you expected? Are you getting the process improvement costs you identified in the business case?
· Are suppliers rigorously screened to ensure they are effectively integrated into your processes to achieve the highest level of automation?
· Are you on track to achieve the procurement-related benefits from the business case?
· Does the business case hold up? Which areas are below and above average?
So what should you do differently?
Given the effort, detail, and rigor that went into your business case, it should now be used as a tool to track the progress of your transformation. Shift your focus from the view that the project is complete when the system goes live and treat it as an important milestone in your transformation. The next milestones should be at set intervals after going live to track progress against your expected benefits in your business case.
Set up a working group of key stakeholders to review progress against your business case and agree on any necessary actions to ensure you stay on track to deliver your benefits.
In the first place choosing the right solution
With a range of different technology solutions, it can be difficult for companies to know which sOurce to Pay solution will be right for your business. If you understand exactly what you want to achieve and follow the steps outlined in this series of articles, you can choose the solution that’s right for you.
Here’s a quick summary of the steps you need to take before making a purchasing decision:
1. Understand current processes
You need to understand how your current processes work and what requirements your stakeholders have. Conduct an in-depth analysis of current business needs through key stakeholder interviews and up-to-date process reviews. This provides valuable insights and resources such as:
- Key insights into current Procure-to-Pay processes
- Identification of key pain points
- Identify key levers to drive user adoption
- Identifying key areas and drivers for financial return on investment
- Identification of quick wins and longer-term development areas
- Mapping of the current technology landscape across source-to-pay processes
2. Plan future processes
Using the insights and resources from the current process assessment, you can then begin to put together a clear and articulated vision of what the future processes will look like to inform resource and business planning processes. You should also be able to formulate clear and articulated technology requirements. Typically, you should evaluate the following functional areas:
· Supplier Information Management
· Manage Supplier Performance
· On-/off-board supplier in the system
· Compliance Management & Audits
· Vendor Activation
· Track service delivery
· Vendor master maintenance
· rate category
· Determine the category plan
· Prepare and conduct market valuation
· Prepare and conduct sourcing event (RFX).
· carry out evaluations
· Select supplier
· Manage project (in the system)
· Prepare and conduct e-auction
· Create Contract
· execute contract
· author contract
· Manage contract
· negotiate a contract
· approve contract
· terminate the contract
Spend analysis and reporting
· Spend Analysis
· benefit measurement
· Exception and Compliance Reports
· S2P process and BPO performance reports
· Identifying opportunities to reduce spending
· Make a purchase request (PR)
· Category Activation
· approve PR
· Approve Purchase Order (PO)
· Create Order
· Spot buying & PR to PO conversion
· confirm order
· order received
· Change the order
· Open the order management
· Enter Invoice
· invoice resolution
· invoice match
· Create Payable
· approve invoice
· Receipt of the non-PO invoice
· Create credit/memo
· Create financial provision
· Process foreign exchange invoices
· Create and release payment in ERP
· Authorize the payment in ERP
· Manage payment status
· Update financial records
· Release financial accrual
Evaluating source-to-pay technology solutions against these functional capabilities and then mapping them to your future processes ensures you are selecting the right technology solution for your business.
CLICK HERE to read Part 1.
CLICK HERE to read Part 2.
CLICK HERE to read Part 3.
CLICK HERE to read Part 4.
CLICK HERE to read Part 5.