In previous posts I’ve discussed what constitutes a procure-to-pay (P2P) system, why it’s so important and the many benefits to be expected. But how does a hotel or other entity go about selecting the best P2P system for their needs?
When considering P2P, organizations must first assess their current processes, taking into consideration what works well and what doesn’t, then determine the areas that need improvement. Once objectives have been defined, the organization can begin to shop for the solution that best suits their specific requirements. Here are several common essential points to keep in mind:
- Integration – look for the integration of all components and functionality that extends from sourcing products to purchasing to payment. The more connected the pieces, the more automated and smoothly the process will run.
- Business process improvements (BPI) – a comprehensive P2P system spans all functionality from hosted sourcing through payment – and should streamline business processes to increase internal compliance with operating standards, efficiency and productivity.
- Business intelligence (BI) – the right P2P system provides the historical, current and predictive views of business operations through the use of business intelligence. Having access to all of this data, which can be categorized in any number of ways, leads to better decision making in the long run.
- P2P supplier technology expertise – ultimately, P2P is a technology solution – therefore, it’s essential for the supplier of your P2P solution to have deep expertise in the modules and services that are integrated into the solution.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform – the platform is important. Some P2P software solutions are delivered on a server-based, client managed platform. But the gold standard for a P2P solution is SaaS. As the products expand and improve, selecting a strong leader and a platform that supports growth and compliance goals is essential.
- Fee or payment model – companies should look for a SaaS-based P2P solution that charges for implementation, annual subscription and integration maintenance. Be wary of P2P systems with a fee that increases as compliance increases. Compliance is a core objective, and therefore, businesses should never pay more for higher compliance or usage.
- Supplier exposure – hosting and connecting all purchasing modules and functionality to your procurement deal with your suppliers is critical. Inventory, Recipe, eProcurement, CapEx and AP Automation must all connect to live pricing from your suppliers in order to provide the optimal value of Procure-to-Pay. P2P solutions must also be able to accommodate non-approved suppliers. This will be discussed further in my next blog.
BirchStreet addresses all of these issues to deliver a comprehensive, flexible P2P system, which helps customers improve their business and supply chain management processes.