Why an agile P2P system is the linchpin for your spend management and wider strategy – Part 3

By Jemma Bell, UK Account Manager at Proactis

So far we have established that having a strong Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) process drives value back into your business strategy through planning, forecasting and cost control, and how a well implemented and adopted agile P2P solution drives value up the chain into the Accounts Payable (AP) department.

A truly agile P2P system will integrate seamlessly with your core financial platform, be that a best in class Financial Management system (FMS), broader Property Management system (PMS) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system - in order to provide true spend control.

Spend control is a set of structured business processes that increase management and visibility over what your organisation spends, and you may be wondering if it is possible to implement effective spend control without first replacing your existing core system - a process that can be long, expensive and risky.

Adding value without duplicating functionality
The good news is that you can deploy effective spend control around just about any core FMS, PMS or ERP system. In fact, my experiences have proved, it makes good sense to use a P2P system that sits outside the bounds of the financial platform to enable you to take advantage of the innovation and functional depth an effective spend management solution delivers that a core system will never offer to the same degree.

It is not only possible to deploy highly effective spend management that’s aligned with your core system, increasingly it’s the only sensible approach when you are seeking to deliver truly quantifiable value.

In fact, spend control is about managing business processes that are outside the realm of other systems. For example, in the case a true end-to-end procurement solution, it will manage a vast array of processes prior to a supplier being added to the underlying core system, a PO being raised, or an  invoice being received, along with a range of wider information about suppliers, documentation, contracts and catalogues that it may never be appropriate to hold in your underlying core system.

It is also likely to involve many more people than those who may typically need to touch your core system. For example, to truly benefit from efficiency at all stages in the process, parts of your procurement system will need to be used by practically every employee, and other parts will ideally need to be accessible to your external suppliers. In my experience of core systems, they may often have cost-prohibitive licensing models where basic procurement capabilities are available and poor or non-existent functionality around the external supplier facing aspects where further efficiency can be realised.

True best in class agile P2P systems are “agnostic” of other systems but are built with clear integration points that utilise industry standards and tools to make integration into your system landscape easy to implement and manage. Integration with any system, inside or outside your organisation, ensures that you can get best in class procurement capabilities, aligned with the familiarity of your core system to deliver simplicity and maximise user adoption, from easy requisition creation, to simple PO approval, engaging buying experience, efficient goods receipting and ensured significantly streamlined invoice capture and compliance.

It would be interesting to hear how you use your P2P to support your organisations strategy, and if you have any questions or need any help please contact [email protected].