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P2P suite’s capabilities

In the last blog, we discussed about the overall market for P2P software. Gartner estimates that by 2025, over 50% of the global midmarket and large enterprises will have deployed procure-to-pay suites via a cloud delivery model.

P2P suites are sets of integrated solutions with processes that may be called “transactional” or “operational” procurement. They have automated workflows to request, procure, receive and pay for goods and services across an enterprise. P2P suites are marketed as suitable solutions for processing, at a basic level, all the various types of spend — for indirect goods, direct goods and services. P2P suites optimize the purchasing process, resulting in improved financial controls, process compliance, cost savings/avoidance and reduced/mitigated risk.

p2p-capabilities-web

P2P suites deliver four primary capabilities:

• E-purchasing functionality to give casual users — employees who are not procurement professionals — a self-service solution for requisitioning and ordering goods and services through the use of catalogs, e-forms or free-text orders. The requisition is routed for approval through a predefined rule-based workflow. Once approved, the requisition is converted to one or more POs and then transmitted to the supplier(s) by email, autofax, portal, electronic data interchange (EDI) or XML integrations. The final step in the workflow is receipt, which can be via desktop or dock.

• Access to catalog content to allow requisitioners to “shop” for needed goods and services and place them in their cart. Solution functionality includes access to a marketplace or punchout access (cXML) to third-party catalogs.

• E-invoicing for the exchange and storage of legally valid invoices in electronic format among trading partners. Functionality includes one or more means for suppliers to get invoices in an electronic format to the buyer, including EDI, punch-out, supplier self-service PO flip, CSV file upload and print drivers. Invoice acceptance status and remittance details are available to suppliers on a self-service basis through portal functionality.

• Accounts payable invoice automation (APIA) to process incoming invoices through rule based matching against POs; or when no PO is issued, by routing the invoice for approval and account coding. APIA tools manage exceptions arising from transportation costs or other fees (for example, taxes) that may not be represented on the PO, or in cases where the cost or quantity received doesn’t match the preapproved PO (see “Make APIA Part of Procure-to-Pay to Maximize Procurement Efficiencies” for more information on this topic).

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