5 Traits to Consider When Vetting a P2P Vendor

What makes a leader in procure-to-pay (P2P)? In today’s globalised and complex business environment, finding P2P solutions that allow you to scale is critical to success. In this blog, we explore five characteristics that define a leading P2P platform.

As challenges facing businesses become more intricate, so do the solutions. In order to thrive in a globalised environment, companies need real solutions that can deliver on a greater scale than ever before. The current global economic state has forced business leaders to rethink their investment strategies including procure-to-pay (P2P). And like any turbulent times, it can be tough to get buy-in for complex, larger scale projects. So how can organisations take the next step in their business investments without coming up short on ROI?

By carefully evaluating the best digital business technologies and solutions in the market, you’ll protect your company from future crises. Below are five traits you should consider when vetting a P2P vendor.

  • They deliver comprehensive functionalities to meet business needs and requirements

  • They offer an extensive and open business network

  • They integrate seamlessly with legacy ERP systems

  • They support global deployment

  • They enable an ecosystem approach

These five characteristics are more difficult to come by than they first appear, and they distinguish the P2P leaders from the other solutions.

1. They deliver comprehensive functionalities to meet business needs and requirements

The P2P provider of choice should be able to meet all your business requirements around procurement and accounts payable.

Leading AP Automation vendors in the market should excel in these areas of invoice automation:

  • They can process non-PO invoices, direct purchasing invoices, and can automate the handling of paper invoices.

  • They identify the best matching scenario through a combination of invoice, PO, goods receipt, quality check, contract, etc.

  • They support additional costs and tolerances not on the purchase order, including price fluctuation within the same day.

  • They automatically extract data from PDF invoices. Read how Basware’s SmartPDF service uses artificial intelligence to convert PDFs to e-invoices with 97% accuracy.

  • They address invoices from POs generated in other external system(s).

Leading e-Procurement vendors in the market should provide a solution that:

  • Drives cost savings and reliability by consolidating the supply base

  • Offers a simple UI that makes the procurement solution the easiest way to purchase

  • Helps businesses seize discounts by combining orders and purchasing in volume

  • Gives companies the ability to negotiate more favorable contracts with strategic suppliers

  • Safeguards against risk and supply chain disruption

2. They offer an extensive and open business network

Likely your suppliers are at various levels of sophistication, which can prohibit the ability to send electronic invoices (e-invoicing). For P2P leaders, establishing an effective and comprehensive network that offers a variety of solutions makes it easy for suppliers to connect and send invoices – in whatever format works best for them. This network then converts the invoices to e-invoices, giving clients full functionality to optimise both time and money.

While savings are certainly important to our clients, it’s also important to our clients’ suppliers. The network can only deliver optimal value if it’s kept free for suppliers. Ensuring that your suppliers are connected is critical to your ROI, which is why the Basware Network is free and easy to join. Not only for your large, strategic suppliers but also your mid-sized and long-tail suppliers. This is important to make sure your suppliers do not pass any joining costs back to you.

Below are the benefits you should never sacrifice when vetting P2P vendors and their networks. With their network, you should be able to:

  • Increase collaboration with suppliers

  • Speed up the purchasing process by enabling suppliers to provide electronic catalogs

  • Allow suppliers to receive purchase orders, confirm, and manage changes to orders electronically

  • Speed up the accounts payable process and reduce costs by offering your suppliers options to send invoices electronically (XML, email, portal, paper)

  • Decrease business costs by allowing suppliers to maintain their own information

3. They integrate seamlessly with legacy ERP systems

Inevitably, today’s global corporations tend to have multiple ERP systems as a result of various mergers and acquisitions. However, that shouldn’t result in unnecessary complexity and expensive IT projects. Legacy ERPs and multi-ERP environments are difficult for many P2P systems, but leaders easily integrate and support them. A leading P2P provider can import external POs from your ERP and match invoices to it, as well as import POs from other procurement solutions, and become the central hub of financial data between the systems. At Basware, our propriety solution integrates seamlessly and has experience with over 250 different ERPs.

Integration with Basware minimises the need for additional configurations because our solutions are built with integration in mind. We handle processes like:

ERP integration

  • To provide central, master data

  • Transferring business documents to and from the ERP(s)

  • Matching purchase orders with invoices

Extending business rules

  • Business document validation

  • Invoice tax calculation

  • Business document workflow

  • Budget validation

 4. They support global deployment

Most companies are doing business in more than one country, so partnering with an experienced global provider should not go overlooked. With increasing and ever-changing P2P requirements and regulations, global deployment experts offer:

  • A multi-language user interface that is intuitive for a global workforce

  • Country-specific tax engine plug-ins with local support in all required languages

  • Multi-currency transactions

  • Tax compliance so invoices can be sent and automatically converted to meet country-specific VAT/tax regulations around the world

  • Invoice storage and retention capabilities to meet legal and tax audit requirements in multiple countries.

If you overlook these details and select a solution that does not have the functionality to automatically take care of those aspects, your Accounts Payable (AP) team will have to keep up with all the regulations and ensure compliance manually. And if you’re not offering local language support, user adoption will be an immeasurable challenge. In the end, you’ll be left with two outcomes: costly operations and risk exposure – both of which can be eliminated by evaluating providers based on their global deployment experience.

 5. They enable an ecosystem approach

While once upon a time the “one size fits all” vendor approach was all you heard about, today the industry has matured to learn that no provider truly offers a full source-to-pay suite that is best-in-class across all modules. Best practice suggests selecting one provider for the core areas of focus, like AP automation or e-procurement, then supplementing with other products and services from specialised providers.

Examples of these specialised products and services are supplier management, risk management, and contract lifecycle management that often only offer basic functionality from suite providers claiming an “end-to-end” solution. This is why the best-of-breed ecosystem approach has evolved.

The ecosystem philosophy enables an open approach focused on co-existence and connection amongst best-of-breed solutions, backed by robust integration capabilities. At Basware, we encourage clients to embrace an ecosystem of solutions that’s built around their specific needs. Based on the modernisation of the industry and the increasing need for unique co-innovation, this multi-vendor approach offers flexibility while still maintaining 100% centralised visibility of data.

Keep Reading

Learn more about the technology and partnership advancements with a procure-to-pay ecosystem approach in this free Gartner report.