Procurement teams spend significant time on repetitive, administrative tasks through their procure-to-pay process. These processes are not only tedious but also error prone. To support procurement teams in automating their procure-to-pay processes, we put together a brief guide on best practices in streamlining these processes.
1. Automate purchase order processing.
Purchase orders feed into numerous systems and reports. Given they are such a foundational piece of information with so much downstream impact, it is crucial to ensure they are accurate. Instead of manually checking the accuracy, leverage systems for automated PO processing to reduce manual task time and errors.
2. Centralize approval flows.
Given the sheer volume of information finance and procurement teams work with, it is impossible and inadvisable to manually check each approval, especially when these approval requests (whether for purchase requisitioning or invoicing) are spread across disparate platforms (email, Slack, CRMs, text, etc.). Instead, centralize your approval process to ensure everyone has the latest information all in one place. Automate known logic flows. For example, automatically reject requests with certain missing information or automatically accept spending below certain limits.
3. Have one vendor of record.
If you work with each vendor separately, you will soon find yourself fully consumed by vendor management. Every vendor seems to have a different system and different preference for collaboration. Whenever you need to place an order, it seems you spend days or even weeks just searching through dozens of sites for one product. Save weeks of time by having one vendor of record through centralizing vendor management.
4. Build in spend analytics.
Without seeing your data in one place in actionable form, you miss out on efficiency improvements, saving opportunities, and other business critical learnings. Ensure you have a spend analytics dashboard tracking your real team spend across categories, teams, individuals, and more.
5. Be compliance ready.
Visibility is not only crucial for making informed business improvements but also to be audit ready and to ensure you are constantly building an audit trail. Work with systems that enable and power transparent information processing.
We hope this guide has been helpful for you in digitizing your procurement organization and driving time and error saving innovation. To learn more about how you can achieve all of the above goals, book a free consultation with our team today.