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Solving Scaling Challenges with Procure-to-Pay Automation

Wadih Pazos September 13, 2022

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AP Automation
Streamlining a business’s procurement process is an ever present need for successful business owners. Preventing high procurement costs and expediting the sales cycle is critical to improving efficiency — and boosting a company’s bottom line. McKinsey & Company reported that supply chains estimated that significant disruptions to production now occur every 3.7 years, on average. 

According to the global management consulting firm, “Uncertainty therefore appears set to persist in the business environment as markets and businesses regain their footing in the post–pandemic world. In this era of upheavals, procurement leaders have an opportunity to reinvent their function and broaden their mandates to promote greater resilience.”

By gaining control of each procurement stage, businesses can effectively reduce costs, ensure timely payments, and enhance the quality of vendor relationships. In order for businesses to successfully scale and achieve long-term growth, they must evaluate if their procure-to-pay business (P2P) is holding them back. 

Manual Procure-to-Pay Processes

In the absence of automated, frictionless P2P processes, Accounts Payable teams are challenged to properly educate personnel about the process, document the steps, streamline approvals, and maintain transparency. 

According to a Paystream 2018 Procurement Insights report, 80% of organizations still use manual or semi-digital tools to manage their P2P cycle. Manual procure-to-pay processes typically require all participants to understand the end-to-end process, but companies rarely invest in the time and resources required to suitably educate them.

Barriers to Scaling

There also tends to be a heavy reliance on manual contract review or the participant’s knowledge of contracted vendor terms, tolerance levels for variances, and contracted unit prices vs. invoiced unit prices. These gaps in knowledge serve as grave barriers to a business’ capacity to scale. From the purchase requisition to the purchase order and everything that follows, the P2P process is complicated — and relying on outdated, fragmented procurement software can stall scaling potential. 

As procurement professionals, we know that educating new employees on the complexities of the process can be daunting and time-consuming. What’s more, teaching by example with an “on-the-job” approach takes time that is better spent elsewhere, given that employees need to go through at least one cycle of an invoice per vendor to adequately understand the steps. Additionally, episodes of high turnover yield knowledge losses when employees leave the company before training others in their place.

Top Challenges of Manual Procure-to-Pay Processes

  • Time-consuming process 
  • Manual data entry
  • Insufficient data governance 
  • High volume of errors
  • Slow approval times
  • Lack of visibility over purchasing commitments until invoicing
  • Employees making purchases without proper authorization
  • Purchases made from various non-preferred sources
  • Low employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Inability to secure early-bird supplier discounts
  • Potential payment penalties and fines
  • Siloed internal communication

Leveraging Automated P2P Processes to Scale your Business

To succeed in this increasingly competitive global economy, companies must act quickly to enter new markets, penetrate more deeply into existing markets, and build competitive market advantages. Embracing digital solutions will help businesses hedge the aforementioned procurement challenges, adapt to current process needs, and enable steady growth in the global marketplace. 

Did you Know?

Gartner estimates that the overall market for P2P software (including both on-premises and cloud/SaaS solutions) reached $3 billion in 2018.

Because manual P2P processes are expensive, inefficient, and inflexible, organizations looking to increase productivity and profitability should shift to a forward-thinking mindset — and it starts with automation. As the procure-to-pay suite market expeditiously expands, your competition may be successfully controlling spending, improving vendor collaboration, and improving operational efficiency across their organizations with automated P2P solutions. 

How Automation Helps Solve Scaling Issues

Cloud-based procurement digitizes the antiquated, manual processes of yesterday and is sparking a chain reaction of productivity, thus empowering next-level profitability for global businesses. Transitioning to an automated process that bridges the gap between data, people, and technology saves time, money, and resources for the long term. 

Procurement automation delivers 21% lower labor costs and 29% fewer full-time equivalent staff.

– The Hackett Group

Best-in-breed, automated solutions enable a business’ procure-to-pay process to be conveniently configured within the P2P tool. All participants in the process need only learn how to use the automated software to the degree it enables them to successfully execute on their tasks. 

That said, there is no risk triggered by valued employees leaving and losing single points of failure. They do not need to understand the logic behind the overarching P2P process, decision-making matrices, approval levels, tolerances on variances, and more. Automation leads to lower demand for manual activities, increased revenue, and improved vendor and customer relationships. 

Top Benefits of Automated P2P Processes

  • Increases user adoption
  • Boosts visibility into workflow
  • Delivers single source of data
  • Helps with spend analytics
  • Saves money, time, and resources
  • Adapts and integrates with existing workflow
  • Saves personnel from experiencing burnout
  • Prepares organizations for long-term business growth
  • Improves transparency among vendor relationships
  • Enhances operational efficiency, transparency, and autonomy
  • Ensures validated, audited, and error-free output
  • Modernizes your business

Solving Your Scaling Challenges 

It’s not enough to keep a pulse on the technological advancements that continue to power global businesses. Organizations that want to drive long-term profitable growth must meet the demand for faster processes, streamlined workflows, improved communication, and fully-integrated P2P solutions

Digital transformations are defined as improving customer

experiences, operational efficiency, and agility by fundamentally

changing the way business services are delivered, using digital

technologies as the enabler of holistic transformation.

– The Hackett Group

Future-proof your business with automated P2P

By opting out of manual and environmentally-toxic, paper-based processes, businesses are claiming their stake in the competitive digital transformation that is taking place across the globe. With the adoption of cloud-based business solutions, you can optimize your overarching business strategy to ensure cost savings and sustainable growth. 

At PairSoft, we help businesses supercharge their procurement process with user-friendly, digital procurement software. Streamline your manual tasks across the end-to-end P2P automation process to help solve your business’ scaling challenges today — and into the future. Get a demo today.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded both PairSoft and PaperSave. He is an avid technologist who specializes in streamlining operations and maximizing productivity.

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