From automating mundane tasks to providing real-time analytics, effective source-to-pay (S2P) technologies can significantly reduce costs while enhancing transparency and accountability. However, to truly leverage the power of this technology, procurement teams must demand certain essential features from their vendors to ensure that their current challenges are being addressed. We explore seven crucial areas that your procurement software must address with questions to ask, along with recommendations to help you find the right procurement software for your needs.
- Can your team effortlessly track procurement initiatives, timelines, and workloads?
- Is your key procurement data accessible online, without needing manual updates from offline documents to the software?
- Is it easy to track performance or obtain an audit trail of activities?
Recommendation: Look for software that’s purpose-built to track and manage all sourcing activities in a single dashboard, giving you visibility into all projects and their timelines. This simplifies reporting, allows teams to spot at-risk timelines, identify non-compliant buying, and enables informed planning.
- Are you able to track the various sourcing events that are happening simultaneously?
- Is information on sourcing events and timelines available online?
- Can you easily reference the bids from past RFx Events, or clone an Event to efficiently create a new one with minimal manual effort?
Recommendation: You need sourcing technology with pre-built templates and tools that can quickly and easily be used to initiate sourcing events and communicate with suppliers. Ensure that all data, events and supplier communications are tracked centrally, giving your team a single view across the entire sourcing organization – making it easier to drive efficiencies and increase sourcing frequency.
- Are all of your supplier contracts gathered in an easy to search central online repository?
- Do you get automated alerts that tell you when contract renewal or expiration deadlines are coming up?
- Are you able to negotiate for better contract terms based on having easy access to past contract data?
Recommendation: Consider S2P software that comes equipped with a contract repository that’s intuitive, and features functions like keyword search, data enrichment, and event notifications. These features translate contracts into data that the team can use to analyze trends, track pricing, and proactively plan budgets around contract renewals and approvals.
- Is your P2P software reasonably priced and easy to use?
- Does it have a high adoption rate within the organization?
- Is it enabling your goals of increasing spend on a PO, while reducing the manual effort of non-PO invoice processing?
Recommendation: The ideal, modern S2P software brings more intuitive and connected tools for PO management, invoice submissions, and eCatalog and rate card management, to name a few. The best solutions make it available all on a single platform, allowing procurement access to a rich trove of data to conduct spend analysis, spend compliance, and automation.
Spend Data Analytics
- Is your spend data consolidated into a single system and regularly updated?
- Is it Normalized, Enriched and Categorized for optimal value?
- Are you able to finetune your categorization over time as your business changes and your needs evolve ?
Recommendation: Look for S2P software with a spend analytics solution that can seamlessly ingest, normalize, enrich and categorize all of your spend data in the background, while your team uses the solution to get work done. This should include tools to explore the data in various ways such as cubes, dashboards and reporting, giving teams a single source of truth to identify new sourcing opportunities, track compliance and support corporate responsibility goals.
Procurement Practitioner Support
- Does your team have the experience to know what is best practice, or the capacity and expertise to handle continuous data hygiene?
- Are you fully utilizing your S2P software, and do you have easy and affordable access to process experts that can support your user journey in the software?
Recommendation: Prioritize providers that manage their own implementations and can offer real practitioner support to ensure accountability during and after implementation. This helps improve adoption and ongoing value realization, ensuring the lifetime value of the investment is maximized.
- Do you have access to market intelligence and price benchmarking outside of your organization?
- Are you aware of pricing opportunities, new suppliers, market capabilities and sourcing strategies beyond what you are already exposed to from day-to-day internally?
Recommendation: Make external market intelligence a requirement for your evaluation; ensure that providers you assess can provide actionable market intelligence to support their offering versus simply offering “empty” technology platforms.
If your answer to many of the questions above was “no”, we understand the struggle. OneMarket was born out of necessity, after we evaluated the market and found many gaps that the available solutions could not fill. A cost-effective, simplified set of source-to-pay technology empowered with pre-built tools and templates, OneMarket is supported by market intelligence and price benchmarks, enabled by expert resources to manage implementation and ongoing data hygiene.
Find out more about how working with OneMarket can help you generate more value from your organization’s procurement function.
Learn more about OneMarket and its fully-integrated Source-to-Pay solutions