In one of our previous blogs 'Start showing the system to users as soon as possible, don't wait until it's perfect (it's never perfect)' we discussed the importance of engaging with users at an early stage. This blog is about addressing and encouraging users to be part of a smooth and fast Purchase to Pay (hereafter: P2P) process.
It is often not the creation of Purchase Orders (hereafter: POs) itself that creates a challenge for the P2P process, but what content is actually included in a PO. End-users tend to create a limited number of POs because that will reduce the administrative burden, amount of approvals, making it easier to process for themselves. This way their colleagues will also check, approve and monitor less. This is true if you look at it purely from an administrative process. However, it is different from a P2P process perspective.
The more different goods or services a PO contains, the more risk you run to encounter delays in the further P2P process.
One of the primary goals of a P2P implementation is digitizing, optimizing and automating the P2P process. With a PO that consists of many different line items, there is an increased chance that one of these items is unavailable or has a different delivery timing. This could potentially lead to a higher number of outstanding POs. Let's take the different delivery timing of goods or services as an example and explain how this may impact your P2P process.
You will have to monitor the same PO for different goods receipt confirmations and your PO will be open until the last item has been delivered. This will also mean that any automated two-/three-way match will not be able to match your PO with a goods receipt or with a received invoice for the full value and content of your PO. The open PO, incomplete goods receipts and open invoices will, in most cases, trigger your colleagues involved in the P2P process to start raising questions or perform manual actions to speed up the process.
Therefore, we recommend encouraging as many single POs as possible. This may be a challenge in itself as end-users may be used to doing things in a certain way. Nevertheless, be bold and encourage your end-users to not combine different products or services on the same PO. Share with your users how this helps to improve your P2P process. Having as many single POs as possible in your P2P process will help you process POs and invoices smoother and faster with less manual intervention needed.