We all feel the pain, changing from an institutionalized purchasing process to a fully automated Procure-to-Pay process.
- Will the Stakeholders be appeased?
- Will the end users participate?
- Will there be any disruption to ongoing day-to-day business?
- How much involvement will be required from all parties during the implementation process?
- Will the solution we implement be scalable, and keep up-to-date with the every evolving technology landscape?
All very good and reasonable questions to ask if you are the CPO of an organization.
If you are toying with the idea of automating your Procure-to-Pay process but still plagued by the questions listed above, there is a way to ease into the implementation cycle to ensure success.
Step 1: Look at solutions that have all modules required to fully automate the purchasing process.
This includes modules such as:
- Spend Analysis
- e-RFP, e-RFI, e-RFQ
- Reverse Auctions
- P.O & Invoice Automation
- Supplier Portal with Supplier Catalog Manager (including Punch out)
Also ensure that the solution you select easily integrates with your current ERP solution (eg: SAP, ORACLE, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.)
Step 2: Implement one step at a time.
This ensures that you are not risking disrupting the entire purchasing process. Implementing in steps assures that end users are not burdened with learning multiple things at a time.
Typical implementation can be as follows:
- Onboard all your suppliers into the portal
- Automate the issuance of P.O and Receipt of Invoice through the Portal
- Add the requisition process in the front along with the approval process. This allows buyers to now automate the requisition/approval process, prior to generating a P.O.
- Start using the e-RFQ module to automate the quote request process. By this time suppliers will already be familiar with your portal as they are already receiving P.O’s and delivering Invoices via the portal.
- Add the e-Auction module wherever necessary to generate cost savings in certain categories of spend.
- Integrate with your existing ERP (if any) so that you can transfer P.O/Invoice data into your accounting system for further processing.