Improve Purchase-to-Pay Performance: How a 360 Evaluation Can Bring You Full Circle

Friday, June 15, 2018

5 minute read

Improve Purchase-to-Pay Performance: How a 360 Evaluation Can Bring You Full Circle

When was the last time you had an objective discussion about how your business is performing, as far as your suppliers, internal customers and external business partners are concerned?


Probably quite a while ago. There simply isn’t time to reflect on organisational performance as often as we would like. The risk is that organisations can become myopic and end up in the situation where problems occur. 

When you’re dealing with daily issues and trying to resolve challenges, it can become difficult to see the forest through the trees: what are we trying to accomplish and why? Why do problems exist; how wide-spread are they and how can we fix them?

How do organisations improve purchase-to-pay performance?

If you really want to improve purchase to pay, you need to consider a multitude of different perspectives: what’s important to you, your team, your customers and your business partners? Getting to that holistic view of your organisation’s performance and considering those different perspectives ultimately boils down to collecting information like:

  • insights from your data

  • stakeholders’ perceptions

  • the maturity of your organisation; and

  • observations from third parties.

Now imagine if a problem-solving ninja dropped out of the sky with x-ray vision to understand your organisation and exactly what you need to do to improve business performance across your entire purchase-to-pay cycle. Ok; so I’m no ninja with x-ray vision, but I do know of a solution that can produce the same result: it’s called the Basware 360 evaluation.

What is the Basware 360 evaluation?

The Basware 360 evaluation is an in-depth approach that our team of business consultants applies to help organisations determine their level of purchase-to-pay maturity and steps they can take to increase maturity levels.

We analyse:

  • Business priorities – what you’re trying to achieve as an organisation. This is critical to know so that we can focus on the most important aspect of performance and decide what to improve.

  • Benchmarks – where you are now. We use a holistic framework to understand your current performance.

  • Solutions – how you can implement best practices and improve current processes. We work with you to identify and prioritise improvements and build solutions that will stick with coaching and proven methods.

How do we apply the Basware 360 evaluation?

The Basware 360 evaluation has four key components:

  1. Prioritisation: We help you select three priorities and turn these into actionable statements. For example, if one of your drivers is cost control and efficiency, the actionable items could be to: reduce the number of human interventions in your processes, improve the number of invoices processed per full-time employee, grow the usage of automation in certain business units and increase spend under management.

  2. Calibration: We combine assessments, feedback and data to build a comprehensive view of what people ‘think, know and feel’ and calibrate that with what we can determine from our observations. This helps to balance and consolidate various perspectives to build a reliable version of the ‘truth’ about the current state and actions that need to happen.

  3. SWOT analysis: Once the calibration is completed, we focus on the prioritised area. This involves performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to map everything we have learned about your purchase-to-pay process in relation to your priorities and ways we can approach fixes and improvements. 

  4. Action: Instead of seeing challenges as insurmountable, we choose to identify how the issues can be flipped on their head to become ideas and initiatives that we call an ‘opportunity statement;’ we apply the power of positive thought. For example, we limit focus on the problem, such as “Users are not issuing POs for urgent needs and change the mindset to pursing an opportunity, such as ‘How can we encourage our operations teams to raise purchase orders when faced with an urgent issue?’ This becomes an opportunity to enable action.

By undergoing this process together, we can create an actionable improvement plan that you can enact and manage yourself. This is what we refer to as the Maturity Action Plan.

How is the Basware 360 evaluation different from other approaches?

Typically, a technology provider just looks to technology to solve a company’s purchase-to-pay problems. But that only addresses a portion of the problem. We look at all of it and combine people, processes, technology and behavior to fix underlying issues that address:

  • What can be changed, added and improved from a process perspective

  • How technology can make a difference

  • What policy-related issues may be missing, or encouraging the wrong behavior

  • Getting the right people on-board and providing them with proper support

What is the result of a Basware 360 evaluation?

In a few words – a roadmap to success. Our final output includes a plan with short and long-term goals, timelines and deliverables. This plan allows you to embark on your improvement journey in calculated phases with specific goals in mind. 

Ready to learn more?

Read more about how our business consulting services help you improve purchase to pay and reach out – we’re here to help!