Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on THURSDAY 16 AUGUST 2017 and has been updated to reflect new content.
Your boss gave the mandate: find a solution to automate procurement and accounts payable processes – it’s time to go electronic across procure to pay. So, you may be thinking, “Hey, doesn’t our ERP do that? Do we really need a separate tool?” The answer is “yes.”
We’re here to tell you, sure you could explore using your ERP for procurement to pay, but it’s not a good idea. You also could use the end of a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, but it’s not ideal. You need to use the right tool for the job – a procurement to pay solution.
Your ERP is not going to give you the results you need from procurement to pay automation – the results your boss is likely anticipating. Here’s why:
1. You need specialty functionality that is not native to ERP systems.
There is certain functionality that is imperative to streamlining procure to pay that simply does not exist in many ERP systems:
A consumer style shopping experience that fits naturally into the way people already work, making it easy for users to use the system to request goods and services – increasing compliance and relieving procurement from “policing” the organization.
Catalog management tools to keep your supplier catalogs always up to date with the best products and prices without a bunch of manual work from procurement.
Punch outs to external websites so your requestors can get access to a variety of choices for the goods and supplies they need, like on Amazon.com.
Budget checks to inform approvers on how requests will affect their budgets before purchases are made.
Scan & Capture to make sure all your invoices are getting into the system in a touchless manner, even if your suppliers are still sending paper invoices.
Invoice automation to achieve a truly straight through process for ALL invoice types (paper, electronic, EDI/XML, PDF, etc. – covering direct, indirect, PO, Non-PO spending) in your accounts payable department.
2. You need an open commerce network:
One of the greatest advantages of automating P2P with a specialty provider is the world that opens up with electronic exchanging of purchase orders, invoices, credit memos and other financial documents across an open business network. This community allows you to exchange real-time information to support supplier on-boarding, true e-invoicing, catalog management, supplier verification, and more.
You can tap into actionable insights and analytics to track the success of your efforts and benchmark against top performing companies. This open network also enables some pretty cool options for strategic financial services like supply chain financing and e-payables so you can optimize cash flow for your organization and your suppliers.
3. You need integration with multiple back-office systems:
If you’re like a lot of companies, you have multiple ERPs and back-office systems in use. To truly get control of enterprise spending and streamline operations in AP, these systems must communicate data to each other – and that should not be a manual process of data exporting and importing. If you want to get the most return on your investment, go with a procurement to pay suite that is designed to integrate with 250+ ERP systems simultaneously. Your life will be so much easier.
Ready to learn more?
We’re just scratching the surface – there’s a lot of nuances involved in researching, demoing and properly selecting the right procurement to pay solution for your needs. But the good news is, Basware is here to help. Read more in our “Basware vs ERP Checklist” factsheet and contact us any questions.