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Procure-to-Pay: What practices should you adopt to optimize the success of your project?

Procure-to-Pay is the entire purchasing process implemented in a business. It is described in three stages including: request to buy, supply and payment.

The goal of a Procure-to-Pay project is to dematerialize and accelerate the processes related to the stages of the purchasing cycle. Its optimization has a positive impact on the business economy in general and remains a challenge for many companies. This article aims to give you an overview of the practices to adopt to meet this challenge.

Prepare the project
A Procure-to-Pay optimization project, also called Purchase-to-Pay or P2P, requires prior preparation. It will have to be accepted internally by employees to facilitate its implementation and operationalization. 

Procure to Pay

The development of the Procure-to-Pay project
Implementing Procure-to-Pay solutions such as electronic invoice and instant messaging for sales management requires methodical design. In particular, we must understand the contours of such a project and its various implications.

This reflection stage is essential and aims to identify the various challenges of the project before its launch.

Here is a list of some useful questions to ask during this phase:

  1. Who are the people for the project?
  2. Why implement this solution?
  3. What is the start and end date?
  4. What is the expected end result?

You can also draw up specifications that allow the people involved to properly play their different roles.

Communication with internal staff
The change in working methods usually creates resistance and raises concerns among workers and especially those directly concerned. This digitization of the purchasing process risks affecting accountants, for example.

It is therefore the employer's duty to support the various employees concerned to facilitate the success and adoption of new Procure-to-Pay solutions. Through a company seminar or video conference, the company manager can communicate with the staff at the start of the project in order to listen to them, but also to provide answers to their concerns.

Choose a SaaS software provider
Choosing a suitable provider for your Procure-to-Pay project starts with comparing the different products offered. Then, it will be necessary to monitor their ability to adapt to changes on a continual basis.

Comparison of different providers
On the market, you have access to several paperless solutions for the Procure-to-Pay cycle. Quite often, this is SaaS software for parts of the buying cycle. In order not to be mistaken, it is advisable to contact several providers.

The objective of this approach is to compare the proposed solutions. Indeed, these P2P solutions do not have the same functionality, and some are more advanced than others. Then request a product demonstration to learn more about how it works.

The way societies function changes and companies have an obligation to comply with new rules and laws. Once the service provider (s) have been contacted, also check that they are continuously working to develop the products in accordance with the regulatory framework.

Set up the Procure-to-Pay project
The implementation of the Procure-to-Pay procurement cycle project requires the choice of a project manager, the active involvement of suppliers and adaptation according to the pace of the project.

Identification of a project manager
After adopting a service provider according to your needs, it is necessary to identify a project manager capable of taking charge of the coordination and the implementation for more efficiency in the realization. The project manager, a bridge between the company and the service provider, will be responsible for reviewing the progress of the project internally and providing information to the provider as needed.

Integration of suppliers
In the march towards changing the way you manage the purchasing cycle, which can upset suppliers, it is advisable to involve them. Warn them early on about new methods that may impact them in order to get them to adapt without any resistance.

The approach consists in particular in explaining to them the various advantages which can reflect on them such as: increased visibility on invoice processing and speed in payment. On this basis, they will easily and very quickly adopt this transformation.

Despite the specifications, it is important to be a little flexible in the execution of the Procure-to-Pay project. You can first offer the end user or suppliers the choice between the classic purchasing cycle and the one where the Procure-to-Pay project is included. This practice, for example, helps all parties to adapt to changes in habits brought about by the dematerialization of the purchasing process.

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