The purchase-to-pay space is changing quickly, and it’s moving past merely enforcing budgets, shortening order cycle times, and generating cash by taking early payment discounts. Making procurement more intuitive and automated, incorporating conversational systems, machine learning, and AI are just some of the future focus areas that are coming into scope. So, what other topics are being revealed through the research for the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites?
As part of the purchase-to-pay provider evaluation process, Gartner interviews customers from each solution provider. Check out a blog I wrote earlier this summer for more on the evaluation process. But the crux of the situation is that the report breaks down competing procure-to-pay suites and their traits into four categories: challengers, leaders, niche players, and visionaries based partially on the responses they receive from customer surveys. But the process also uncovers some interesting data points that shed light in other areas of purchase to pay. Although it’s not the point of the survey, the data reveals that customers may not be making the most of their purchase-to-pay solution.
Not using purchase to pay all the way?
Here are a few stats that we found rather staggering and collectively highlight an interesting phenomenon in the purchase-to-pay industry of a very fragmented approach to purchase to pay:
78% of organizations polled1 said that their purchase-to-pay suite is not their singular Accounts Payable solution.
Over a third are using scan and capture from a different vendor to get invoices into their solution.
45% of organizations are manually entering invoices themselves.
These numbers don’t make sense, and neither does the process. This means that though these companies could be using just one vendor, they’re using multiple: one for e-procurement; another for scan & capture; and yet another for AP automation. You shouldn’t need to have multiple suppliers when you could have just one that covers everything you need and does it exceptionally.
What do the analysts say?
Magnus Bergfors, Gartner analyst and co-author of the report notes that many procure-to-pay solutions can only handle AP purchase orders created within the solution suite:
"A lot of organizations have primarily deployed purchase-to-pay solutions for their indirect spend and are only using the AP functionality for the purchase orders created in the system…But if you select a procure-to-pay solution that has robust AP functionality, there's no need to do that. You’d rather have one place where you manage all of your invoices."
It’s not magic, it’s Basware
Basware has that robust AP functionality Magnus is referring to – our ability to handle external POs is what sets us apart. According to the report, "Basware had the highest score of all the vendor reference customer surveys for ease of integration using standard APIs and tools. Basware offers packaged integrations for importing purchase orders from POS, Kanban and MRP systems." One of the survey questions asked to users was about Basware’s ease of integration using standard APIs and tools. We received a score of 5 on this. Customer translation: “Completely Satisfied.”
Get More Insights from the Research
View our on-demand webinar featuring Gartner analyst Magnus Bergfors and Basware’s Eric Wilson to hear more results from the survey and an active discussion around the findings, including:
What are other purchase-to-pay users (230+) experiencing?
What critical pieces of functionality should you expect today as a buyer?
What are the current trends within purchase-to-pay and how do they affect you?
How does innovation play a crucial part in the evolution of all this?
Magnus and Eric cover other features and functionality from the report including spend analysis, e-sourcing, contract life cycle management, e-procurement, buy-side catalog management, supply base management and contingent workforce management solutions.
View the webinar now