August 27, 2021 | Source to Pay
“Management is discipline, carrying it out.”
— Stephen Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Once you have chosen the source-to-pay (S2P) implementation partner and understood the need to have a long-term view of the process (Habit No. 2), the next step is to execute the plan.
More importantly, you would want to execute the program in a way that enhances efficiency and reduces time, effort and associated costs.
So, how do you go about executing the procurement and sourcing work and get the contract into circulation and use?
For a procurement professional, it is easy to fall into a trap and repeat the same mistakes in executing the source-to-pay process as it was done earlier.
For instance, you may continue to rely on old-fashioned manual processes of invoice processing.
As a result, invoice approvals and payments to vendors will be often delayed, which, in turn, may end up harming your reputation with the vendor. You may also miss out on early payment discounts.
At this stage, consider deviating from traditional methods.
What is crucial in an effective S2P implementation is that you should not be looking to do more of the same tasks that you performed earlier.
Instead, you should be able to do those same tasks in a better, faster and more efficient way.
You should expect to have a higher cadence of sourcing events and procurement activity. But, at the same time, you must be able to do things in a better-than-before manner.
It is, therefore, vital to remember — and act on — the feedback generated from the output (refer to Habit No. 2).
Learn from the mistakes and incorporate the feedback suggestions in the mode as you go forward. In this process, you may need to alter your mindset and adopt the key takeaways.
Monitor the successful outcome of the S2P project in real time to ensure that you repeat the good stuff and don’t repeat the bad stuff.
The notion of using an end-to-end procurement technology platform is that you can create a new template or model for sourcing without having to start afresh and do everything from a scratch.
Learn how you can refer to the key takeaways, reuse what works and discard what does not.
Remember that if something was successful earlier and worked before, it may not work as effectively again. There is a high probability that it needs to be tweaked in the present situation.
For instance, you may find that the industry standards have changed, and the questions and metrics that you considered earlier are no longer relevant.
Parameters that define successful completion of a S2P project may have changed over time, too.
Leverage technology to work around the changed parameters. Use the digital sophistication and infrastructure that is available to maintain your agility and flexibility. Learn how to quickly revisit and rework how you do sourcing and procurement to adjust to real-life events and strategic objectives. This will pave the way for successful implementation of your sourcing plans.