Your suppliers have gone digital. Every day, your billing staff goes up against sophisticated automation, number crunchers, and data aggregation technologies. Suppliers have industry trends and price comparisons at their fingertips. When your billing department face these capabilities, do you even stand a chance? If your procure-to-pay system isn’t digitized, you are handicapping your company and leaving your staffers at the mercy of sophisticated rival systems.

The only way to compete is with equally high-tech solutions. Bring your team up to speed and give them the right tools to find hidden cost savings, negotiate, and leverage their position from equal footing. With standardization technology, you can create win-win situations with suppliers and end the spending leakage that comes from uneven tech standoffs. If your suppliers have gone high-tech, why haven’t you?

Companies that implement procure-to-pay (P2P) software can make a huge difference in how their staffers feel about the billing process. How much of a difference does it make? Let’s find out. Answer the following questions to see if your procurement team is working hard or smart.

Does your system avoid resource waste?

Procure-to-pay software solutions offer consistency over time. This technology reduces frustration overbilling and invoice processing by relying on set guidelines and automating business process management (BPM). When everything is machine automated, you can be strategic. Systemized agreements are easy to keep up with. Authorizations happen without lag time. Everything is automated instead of relying on individual touchpoints. This reduces the likelihood of single points of failure so that long-term consistency with suppliers becomes the norm. Processes are streamlined without saddling staff with all the responsibility is one way to work smarter and not harder.

Are you building transparency?

If you are still working with an on-premise system, you are likely functioning in an opaque work environment. This lack of transparency can hurt your business. Cloud-based systems allow you to function internally and externally in real-time. A procure-to-pay solution in the cloud means instant decisions, watching updates as they happen, and making revisions based on changing environments and supplier requirements. Cloud transparency gives you agility.

Do you have enhanced communication?

Transparency also contributes to enhanced internal communication. If your purchasing team can’t communicate to your accounting team within the same procure-to-pay system where the transactions are being carried out, it makes things difficult. Secondary systems are not the most convenient. Attachments go unopened and your company loses time due to confusion and frustration. When collaboration across departments is a built-in feature of the P2P system, easy information exchanges save time and money. Consensus is reached quickly and your staff moves onto the next issue without missing a beat.

Can you leverage data?

Transparency also contributes to the bottom line. According to Forbes, talking profitability is crucial to getting c-suite buy-in. That’s why eProcurement software is so vital. Electronic procurement solutions (especially those hosted in the cloud) do the math work for you. This kind of software tracks and crunches the billing data, automatically calculating process-wide profitability. You can pull reports and talk margins in real dollar amounts instead of single-department revenue or growth. This kind of transparency allows your billing managers to speak to senior staff members in a useful and time-saving way. Transparent procure-to-pay software does all the heavy lifting when it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

What is the “Big Picture?”

The big picture of procure-to-pay functionality comes down to ROI. What are you getting back from implementing this kind of software? Most importantly, is it worth the investment? From soft results like employee satisfaction to hard results such as efficiency audits of your pay cycles, the positive outcomes are known contributors to improved profitability. The higher your profitability, the bigger your return on investment will be.

To tell if your team is working too hard, take a step back and consider if you can match your suppliers’ digital capabilities, if your system avoids resource waste, and if your system is building internal and external transparency. Given your company’s current processes, do you see room for improvement? Can you imagine the benefits of using a digitized procure-to-pay solution instead of your current system?

If you said yes, then your team is working hard and not smart. It’s time to do a deep-dive into the topic and learn what eProcurement is all about. Download our FREE white paper about leveraging technology and read about a procure-to-pay solution from ProcurePort today.