Procure to Pay Software

Running an engineering startup means needing a constant supply of raw materials and hardware. Your ability to obtain them in time will determine your ability to deliver orders on time and keep your customers happy. As such, the procurement of materials is as vital as the designing and manufacturing of products.

Procurement is not a simple, quick task. It involves handling purchase requests from departments, orders, suppliers, payments, contracts, and dealing with an array of bottlenecks. When done manually, it takes up a lot of time that could have otherwise been dedicated to value addition.

By optimizing the Procure to Pay process, you’ll simplify the purchase of supplies while making it fast, cost-efficient, and a source of value for your growing business. One way to achieve this is by using procure to pay software.

In this article, we discuss the Procure to Pay process, the features of P2P software, and its benefits.

What is the Pay to Procure Process?

Procure to Pay or P2P process is a part of the procurement process that deals with the purchase of goods, from purchase request to payment of invoices.

Purchase to pay follows almost similar steps in many organizations and will link the procurement department and accounts payable (finance department). Its goal is to enable visibility, speed up the process, reduce cost, and have an efficient supply chain. 

Below is a general outline of the procure to pay process.

  1. Purchase requisition creation
  2. Purchase requisition approval
  3. Purchase order creation
  4. Delivery of the order
  5. Invoice processing and reconciliation
  6. Payment of goods and services

While the process is clear and direct, manually handling the tasks can be daunting. It will create a ground for delays and errors and lead to late deliveries and unsatisfied customers. You can avoid the long, tedious manual P2P by automating the process through a Procure to pay software.

What is Procure to Pay Software?

Procure-to-pay software is a program that automates making purchase requisitions to delivery of the order by suppliers. The main goal of a P2P tool is to connect the procurement department and finance departments to enhance better visibility of processes and collect data and ensure compliance to set rules.

P2P software automates your workflows to request, procure, receive goods, and pay for them and services in your firm. The optimization of the procurement process results in better bills and payment management, compliance with regulations, cost savings/avoidance, and reduced risks.

What are the Features of Procure to Pay Software?

Good procure-to-pay software will have features that help you automatically accomplish your tasks. Here are the most common features of the P2P software tools.

Procurement Management

The procurement management software feature handles the whole procurement process from requisition to delivery and payment for the goods. It ensures you receive the goods, services, and materials that help you run your business and deliver your orders on time.

Vendor Management

This feature manages your suppliers by tracking and storing all their data. It handles supplier selection, contract negotiation, and dispute management. The information collected by the vendor management feature includes vendor contact details, their services, and contract terms. 

Financial Reporting

It handles all your finances by tracking spending, purchase orders, accounts payable, and any other financial transaction in the P2P process. You'll also generate financial reports on different cost centers and suppliers to help you assess your supply chain performance.

Compliance Management

Compliance management lets you track if everyone in the business, including suppliers, follows the compliance rules. You can monitor industry standards, policies, and codes of conduct and detect any breaches and risks. It helps mitigate fraud and anomalous payments. 

Contract Lifecycle Management

Contract lifecycle management eliminates the manual handling of contracts by providing an automated process. You'll organize and track the contract management process from creation, negotiation, approval, renewal, and compliance. It also gives you a clear record of the process in case of a problem. 

Integration Management

Integration management allows linking the P2P to other management systems and applications to make the business run smoothly. Such applications include enterprise resource management solutions, accounting software, and human resources software.

Inventory Management

It lets you have up-to-date awareness of your goods at any part of the business. For example, you can track your raw materials from purchase to delivery and your products from production to sale. The P2P solution also helps in inventory categorization, alerts on low inventory, and automatic reordering of goods and raw materials. 

Order Management

You'll organize and track your purchase order from order placement to delivery. It gives you visibility on the progress of the order. This way, you are ready to take action to avoid a problem like disruption in the supply chain.

Billing and Invoicing

It automates the management of purchase orders and bills for goods delivered. Through invoice processing, you'll receive automatically reconciled invoices that ensure every detail matches what was provided.

Who are Procurement Software Buyers?

While the procurement process is part of every business, few firms have the same buying characteristics. Therefore, it is essential to understand which type of buyer your business is before deciding on purchasing software.

Here are the categories for most procurement software buyers.

Business-to-business(B2B) Buyers

Are your customers solely other businesses? Then you are running a B2B business.

Your company usually makes huge orders that you distribute to other companies after value addition. Manually making such bulk orders could create ground for errors and take a lot of time to deliver. The results will be unsatisfied clients and loss of business.

A procure to pay software will allow you to collaborate with your vendors and control your spending. You'll automate your procurement processes and offer up-to-date visibility of each task in the process. As a result, you can cap maverick spend, ensure timely delivery and reduce operating costs.

Business-to-consumer(B2C) Buyers

If you cater to end consumers, your business is B2C. Your orders are usually composed of various products sourced from multiple suppliers and will depend on the demand from the consumer. As a result, your orders will range from small to bulky orders, meaning you need good invoice processing.. 

Since you experience a longer supply chain than B2B businesses, you need an effective solution to help manage multiple vendors. In addition, it should help you track multiple purchase orders and provide insightful reports and analytics. It should also integrate with other existing software in your operations. 

What are the Benefits of Procure to Pay Software?

Procure to Pay software automates your procurement process and benefits your business.

Here are some benefits of purchasing software.

Improved Visibility

One of the main advantages of P2P software is the visibility you get over your operations. As a result, you and your vendors can monitor purchase orders, receipts, and invoices in real-time.

Visibility ensures that you can react to issues immediately. You'll deal with late deliveries by taking action to get other deliveries or expedite delays and bottlenecks.

The visibility also helps you to improve your supplier relationship. Since everyone can see what is happening every time, it is easier to resolve issues relating to orders, invoices, and payments.

Fast and Accurate Procurement Process

Manual procedures are long, tedious, and involve long waiting times. You'll have to fill out multiple documents, send them to the following chain of command, and wait for their approval before proceeding. It could lead to many delays and create errors in the process.

P2P software can help you overcome this by completing tasks faster and more accurately. They'll also work for longer as they don’t need regular breaks, unlike  human beings.

You'll set some rules that will guide the software in decision-making. You can set standards where tasks like purchase orders and requisitions within the budget get approved automatically without human intervention.

The procurement solution will also do invoicing and billing for you through invoice automation, invoice and receipt reconciliations, AP automation, and reduce time used on the task.

Reduced Cost

Are you avoiding software because of the prices? What if I told you it would reduce your costs far beyond the price tag.

First, P2P software will shrink the procurement team and reduce paper expenditure. It will take over some responsibilities and produce electronic documents, forms, invoices, and reports. You'll leverage invoice automation, automatic analytics and in depth summaries. 

Secondly, the solution reduces the cost of managing contracts through automation. It will centrally store your contracts, track your responsibilities, monitor the expiry date, and alert you in advance. You can also choose to have it renew your contracts to avoid extra renewal costs.

Lastly, if you are a high-volume buyer, managing the relationship between you and suppliers through strategic sourcing attracts better prices and other benefits of buying in bulk.

Cost Control and Cost Avoidance

It is frustrating to see a department or individual spending more than the allocated amount. Therefore, to cap such maverick spending, you may opt to resort to bureaucracy. However, this can be detrimental to business. 

Procure-to-pay software lets you integrate your budget into the system. It will then automatically approve some purchase orders and reject others for further approval. This way, you get an authorized person to go over unusual requests and let the procurement solution handle requests within the budget..

Avoid Supply Chain Disruption

As a startup, delivering on time and satisfying the customer dictates your future as a business. So to meet your orders, you need your vendors to deliver on time through strategic sourcing. 

While early deliveries are ideal, the supply chain gets disrupted easily by natural phenomena, accidents, human interruptions, and pandemics. 

You can beat such scenarios by using P2P software to help you fill up holes in the supply chain by sourcing strategically.  You'll access supplier data, including the history of deliveries, to identify those capable of coming through for you during hard times. 

Purchase Efficiently Using ControlHub Procure to Pay Software

Concentrate on engineering and adding value to your business by automating repetitive and huge tasks like purchasing. With software like ControlHub, you stay in control of the procurement process and enjoy the numerous benefits of an uninterrupted and efficient supply chain.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can take your business to the next level.