A source-to-pay process, or S2P, is a more comprehensive and robust version of a procure-to-pay process. While procure-to-pay processes usually begin with identifying internal needs and submitting departmental requisitions, the source-to-pay s2p takes this a step further and adds a higher-level element into the procurement operation. Rather than beginning with departmental requests and ending with accounting procedures like payroll, the source-to-pay process begins with a supplier-side conversation. 

While there are many similarities between P2P and S2P, understanding the distinctions is important to building a comprehensive procurement strategy. 

The general theory behind a source-to-pay process is to utilize big data, sophisticated technology, and networking capabilities. Big data provides the necessary information that procurement teams need to make informed decisions and proceed with specific suppliers. Networking makes these supplier conversations regarding contracts possible, and it’s all housed within sophisticated and elegant software. These elements are all aimed at bolstering and streamlining the procurement operation. Integrating a source-to-pay process creates powerful and long-lasting supplier relationships, offers deeper insight into product sourcing channels, and elevates transparency into the procurement process

Benefits of an Integrated Source to Pay Process

As with procure-to-pay, there is a myriad of far-reaching benefits that result from an integrated source-to-pay process. These benefits range from boosting process efficiency to developing strong supplier relationships, and even shortening the delivery process in some cases. When well-developed, they can elevate a procurement team to the next level, leading to natural growth in business and a significant increase in inefficiency. In today’s industry, specifically, there is an emphasis on the strength of a company’s supply chain, as the world is rocked by the global pandemic. source-to-pay processes are becoming a staple in the procurement industry as the benefits outweigh the cost.

Supplier Management

The backbone of any s2p process is in the supplier management functionality. These allow for more in-depth supplier sourcing which in turn creates a more secure and reliable supply chain that is less susceptible to a volatile market. Additionally, effective source-to-pay processes allow companies to filter out suppliers that don’t meet industry standards, regulatory standards, or company codes of conduct. Supplier risk-analysis is a feature that offers companies rich data on a supplier’s potential long-term stability, leading to informed, data-driven decisions. This feature considers elements like currency exchanges, interest rates, financial stability, current marketplace standings, and much more. 

Contracting

 Another timesaving, efficiency-boosting feature that integrating a source to pay process provides is faster supplier communications and onboarding procedures. While more and more companies are beginning to recognize the importance of having a secured supply chain – especially amidst the international pandemic – there is still a lot of unnecessary time and money spent on the supplier negotiation process. With source-to-pay solutions, procurement teams can rely on automated tasks, algorithms, and big data to streamline these processes. This also can shorten the delivery cycle times and create more efficiency throughout the entire product sourcing process.

Purchasing

Product purchasing is usually the last step in a source-to-pay process. However, it can be an arduous task to get there. Procurement teams are busy enough as it is without having to negotiate back and forth with suppliers. Having to supplement those supply chains with off-contract purchases is inconvenient, untimely, and expensive. A source-to-pay process ensures that established supply-chains can cover the bulk of demand and enable procurement teams to more swiftly onboard new suppliers when it does become necessary to make a unique off-contract or one-time purchase. 

Ease-of-Use

One of the main issues of installing new technology in a company is ensuring the technology is adopted by many users. The goal here is to have a friendly interface that is consistent across the entire suite. Since all the purchasing activities go through a single system, it means that users have to make an effort to use the system. However, as compared to using different systems for different activities, with an integrated source to pay process, users only have to get used to a new system that uses the same rules throughout the whole system. This benefit generally yields an increased adoption rate.

Spend Analysis

An integrated source to pay process provides information and data across different stages of the buying process. This software allows you to conduct suite-wide analytics, thus collecting sourcing, contracting, spend, invoice, and supplier payment data in a way that can easily be transformed into actionable insights. An integrated solution is better positioned to provide more in-depth data that can be tackled or acted upon immediately. Better access and visibility into purchase data helps you to properly optimize your organization’s spending, thus meeting your business goals.

Streamlining Procurement Processes

Procurement software provides interconnectivity throughout the organization, therefore, requisition requests are received and approved faster. In addition, procure-to-pay processes streamline procurement processes by increasing interconnectivity through the interoperability property of this e-procurement software. Better interoperability of organizational activities provides higher productivity through a faster selection of suppliers, timely design, and delivery of PO requests – all done electronically and in an easily traceable way.

Reducing Invoice Processing Costs

Going paperless with a procure-to-pay system reduces cost and time and enables companies to use employees for more strategic initiatives in the organization, rather than for repetitive activities better accomplished by automation. According to documented statistics, the average cost of processing an invoice is $12.90; automation delivers an average of 29% reduction in invoice processing costs — a saving that can translate up to $300,000 per year for an organization that processes up to 10,000 invoices monthly. By leveraging a procure-to-pay process, you reap the benefits of automation, saving massive costs that go into designing and mailing purchase orders to different suppliers or vendors.

Negotiation

The source to pay system integration provides clarity and builds certainty in payments. This reliability can yield a long-term relationship between buyers and suppliers. When vendors are confident about their payment status, they can be willing to offer terms that are more favorable and advantageous to buyers. The source-to-pay process helps ease negotiations between transacting parties, thus achieving cost savings and trust-building between buyers and suppliers.

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your procurement team means equipping them with the most powerful and updated software available. ProcurePort offers robust and feature-packed procurement solutions. The software meets needs in the source to pay and procure to pay processes, enabling companies to streamline procedures related to product sourcing and procurement, ultimately leading to greater efficiencies, higher savings, and a more effective procurement team.

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