Procure-to-Pay Performance: Why Your ERP System Isn’t Enough
I regularly hear some variation of the following question from prospective customers: We have an ERP system to manage our purchasing process; why do we need a procure-to-pay solution? There’s a very good reason why, so let’s take a look.
The short answer is that casual users have no idea how to use an ERP system and will just buy goods and services from whatever vendor and get reimbursed – which means their purchases circumvent any compliance and controls from the procurement organization.
For procurement practitioners, an ERP screen is probably the first thing they open every morning and the last one they close each night. They understand the intricacies of capturing various pieces of purchase order information. They know how it gets used, what it represents, and the headache that will be caused if data is omitted. A casual user – an employee who logs in to buy goods or services a few times a year – lacks that knowledge and awareness and needs a solution to fill in the gaps.
The guided buying capability in SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing offers an intuitive and seamless purchasing process that is deeply integrated into procurement. Guided buying simplifies the process by offering a role- based solution that’s optimized for professional and casual buyers.
Figure 1: Fuzzy search capabilities on the home screen help users get relevant results faster.
The goal is to make it simple for end users to find the items and services they need. User-friendly features like fuzzy search and type-ahead search completion expedite the process.
Figure 2: User-friendly search results allow for quick selection of pre-screened options.
Search results are populated from internal catalogs that have pre-approved terms and contracts to streamline the purchase and maximize savings. Formerly complex steps are replaced with a guided experience, enabling users to pick the best option and submit for approval with the click of a button.
Figure 3: Approvals are quick and easy to manage inside the system.
Dynamic approval workflows eliminate the need for manual processing, saving time and effort. You can easily configure systems with automated approvals for requisitions that don’t require management involvement. Eliminating some approvals while still ensuring compliance via catalog purchases increases efficiency and reduces costs.
With an intuitive and integrated purchasing solution, indirect purchasing becomes seamless – and by making the procurement process simple, your company can increase spend under management, improve cost containment, and enhance overall compliance across the organization.
For more information about how SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing and the guided buying capability can help you transform procure-to-pay performance, watch this brief solution demo.