SAP Ariba, Coupa, Basware, Ivalua … there is a broad array of choices in the Source-to-Pay (S2P) software marketplace, from established, more traditional market players to newer entrants focussing on disruptive technologies through automation and intelligence.
Even with the help of the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave reports, it can be daunting to navigate this dynamic market. There are three critical S2P solution factors to consider; let’s explore how to choose and implement the solution right for your business.
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Source-to-pay (S2P) is a term used in the software industry to designate the end-to-end procurement process which starts with finding, negotiating with, and contracting with the supplier of goods/services, and culminates in final payment for those goods/services.
A high level Source to Pay process is simple and is made efficient by having the relevant controls in combination with an easy and intuitive cloud based tool
Three critical factors to help you identify the best S2P solution for your business
1. Have a clear scope
Are you looking at a full S2P suite or a specific module, such as contract management or sourcing? If it is the former, you are most likely to find a solution with the mature market players that offer a full range of modules. However, if you have a more specific objective, consider the emerging niche players that have focused development on your issue.
Remember to think not only about today but also about what tomorrow could look like and the evolution of your business over the next few years.
2. Address your pain points
Why do so many businesses fail in their go-to-market approach when choosing a S2P solution? Surprisingly, the default procedure tends to involve asking too many questions – hundreds on some occasions – in the hope that they will serve as a basis for comparison and evaluation.
However, the reality is that this approach fundamentally misses the point, which is finding the best solution to address your business’ pain points. Once you understand them, a more focussed assessment of solutions can be conducted, in which scenario-based demos are evaluated by a suitable cross-functional stakeholder group. This also helps buy-in to the final decision and full end-user adoption.
- Solution becomes bespoke
- Approvals become a barrier
- Solution is too technical
- Suppliers resistant to change
- System maintenance is heavy
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3. Understand the implementation process
Finally, understand what implementation will look like for the solutions you select. Don’t underestimate the internal change management aspects of implementation, including those of external parties (i.e. the solution provider and the chosen technical integration partner).
Your external technical integration partners connect the systems and ensure they communicate, but a successful business-wide implementation relies heavily on internal business process changes while ensuring that third-party activities are managed and motivations are aligned to your end goals.
Implementing the right S2P tool will have a broad impact on your organisation, so it is critical that your organisation has the bandwidth to support it.
The better you understand the needs of your organisation, the easier it will be to select the most effective solution. Navigating the marketplace of S2P solution providers can be an overwhelming task, but carefully considering the three points above before you begin your evaluation will make the process much more efficient and successful.
Find out more
For further advice on Source to Pay solutions, please contact Ben Smerin or Marie-Eve Allison.