Soon, we’ll be three years from the prediction-packed year of 2020, and the procure-to-pay (P2P) process for many global businesses is stuck in the Stone Age with paper/PDF-laden, manual, and inefficient. For a few others, it’s well-connected, streamlined, and automated to bear fruit such as yearly cost reductions, fraud control, and transparency. For most, however, it’s somewhere in between. Regardless, procurement teams need to ensure that goods and services are delivered at the right time, location, and price. And accounts payable departments need to pay for them at the right time.
The P2P process is often claimed to be disconnected between the two departments, yet, ironically, the process itself is the glue that links them. The process is a bridge for interaction and collaboration that can lead to continuous improvements, and should be treated as such.
Leading organizations not only make sure that these two departments are on the same page, but also patch in treasury and finance as well to data, insights, and key decisions. They also do the same with important suppliers and internal stakeholders across the company. And through it all, they ensure that any process changes are not biased towards a particular function and that decisions ultimately accrue to the greater good of the enterprise. This is what collaborative P2P is all about.
Among the desirable outcomes enabled by collaborative P2P is agile procurement. Procurement is the first “p” in the process and under greater pressure to keep the lights on all while being agile enough to drive value and innovation to the business and noticeably chip in where it matters – the bottom line.
To find out where collaboration opportunities exist for procurement teams across the P2P process to drive agility, we turned to expert Andrew Bartolini at Ardent Partners, who developed a new report – fresh off the press, Building Procurement Agility with Collaborative P2P, underwritten by Tradeshift.
Here’s one among many of his seasoned insights:
“Efficient P2P processes that remove transactional friction with orders and invoices and enable strong collaboration and communication between trading partners are desirable for all suppliers. But, they are particularly valuable with strategic suppliers who may not choose to share their excess capacity or best ideas with the customers who are costly or problematic. Collaborative P2P helps build stronger supplier relationships that can pay an agility dividend down the road.”
Andrew makes a great point about the value delivered by strategic suppliers. But elsewhere in the report, he notes what he calls a frequently overlooked point: more business professionals engage procurement during the P2P process than at any other time. This spells huge opportunity for procurement to ensure a positive and valuable experience for business users and suppliers, as opposed to one that is much dreaded.
This is but a sample of the useful knowledge packed into the free, educational 11-page analyst report. Download it now to get details on how your procurement operation can strike a balance between the right technology, skills, supply management strategy, and internal and external collaboration to help you enable an agile enterprise that will remain competitive in the long term.
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