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Why an agile P2P system is the linchpin for your spend management and wider strategy – Part 1

By Andy Hamilton, UK Business Development Manager

If the latest events have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. And with that mindset brings the need to develop agile strategies that can flex with change and minimise risk should your environment shift overnight.

I’ve had some very interesting discussions over the last few months with senior Finance and Procurement leaders - some who are reaping the reward of their efforts from previous months implementing a resilient P2P strategy, but also with many who have seen large cracks appear as their staff shifted to remote working, their supply-chains struggled to deliver and their cashflow became less predictable or more critical than ever.

With these thoughts in mind I’ve summarised why an agile P2P strategy is the linchpin that enables your organisation to respond to change and drive value into every corner of your business. In this four-part series, we’ll look at how P2P supports business strategy, AP, procurement and the wider functions.

Part 1: P2P driving value back into your business strategy
The foundation to an agile strategy is the integration of a best-of-breed P2P solution with wider investments and in core business systems, such as your ERP, main operational system(s) and the strategic procurement components of an Source-to-Contract solution, which may or may not be part of a single integrated end-to-end Source-to-Pay platform.

Specialised P2P capabilities help drive user adoption through simplicity (more on that in future articles) and this usage, combined with a central data set, creates visibility which in turn creates two opportunities:
  1. Planning and forecasting - historical spend forms the base of a budget and enables an organisation to clearly outline where additional investments, or cost savings can be made.
  2. Cost control - using strong processes and technology enables more accurate spend against budget and the ability to make conscious decisions based on a changing environment.
Both of these have been much more than a message on a brochure, as organisations have found themselves needing to make quick, but well-informed decisions to adapt over recent months.

Another interesting contribution to business strategy is that P2P efficiency is the foundation to enable early invoice payment at an optional discounted rate. This then offers the opportunity for two things:
  1. Extra revenue for the buying organisation that can be put directly to the bottom-line or re-invested depending on the strategy.
  2. Supporting your supply-chain with their cashflow and improved efficiency. This links to your CSR commitments and it also helps reduce the risk to your buying organisation by helping keep your critical supply-chain operational.
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 you can contact me at [email protected]

In the second part of the series, I look at how a well implemented and adopted agile P2P solution drives value up the chain into the Accounts Payable (AP) department.