Gartner’s Critical Capabilities Report: A Deeper View into What’s Most Important for Purchase to Pay

Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Procure-to-Pay Suites 2019 report is out. It takes a deep dive into what Gartner has determined as the “critical capabilities” for procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions and takes a closer look at the elements that determine vendors’ placements in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites report. Read more about each of these categories, what they mean, and how rankings are determined.

Procure-to-pay (P2P) suites have one main goal—automation and management of procurement and AP processes. But, as more P2P vendors enter the market and those already in existence continue to innovate new opportunities for applying technology, a true “best-of-breed” solution is becoming a more antiquated idea. Instead, analysts like Gartner are saying it’s more realistic to consider the areas of strength of different vendors. Vendors often excel in a particular piece of the process, and in the future, we expect to see more companies building their own ecosystem of core solutions and best-of-breed plug-ins and applications to automate the full process, as opposed to automating everything within a single platform.

In this report, Gartner set out to evaluate vendors’ critical capabilities so that organisations can use the information to inform their P2P solution selection.

Basware’s Scores

Out of 13 vendors, Basware scored highly across many of Gartner’s critical capabilities and use cases:

#1 for AP (Use Case) - 4.29

Basware automates the invoice process to achieve a completely touchless experience. We process 100% of invoice types and formats including EDI, XML, paper, PO and Non-PO invoices for direct and indirect spending.

#1 for AP Automation (Critical Capability) - 4.6

Invoice workflows, invoice coding, dispute resolution, invoice matching, and the constantly evolving regulations concerning global tax compliance can all be automated through Basware AP Automation. This leads to increased savings, a more strategic AP, and actionable data.

#1 in e-Invoicing (Critical Capability) - 4.3

Basware is the global leader in implementing e-invoicing across a variety of industries. Staples Belgium, for instance, now processes 48% of their invoices electronically and has seen shorter DSO and reduced paper consumption as a result of implementing Basware e-Invoicing.

#1 in Partner Ecosystem (Critical Capability) - 4.1

Most P2P suite evaluation processes focus on product capabilities alone, missing the value that can be delivered by a vendor’s partner ecosystem. Leading P2P vendors have established ecosystems with a number of preconnected partners, including ERP vendors, tax engines, supplier data providers and strategic sourcing applications to name a few. Basware has the top ranked ecosystem among P2P vendors.

#1 for Supply Chain Financing (Critical Capability) - 4.4

Leading solution providers offer dynamic discounting functionality within their offerings and pair it with a supply chain finance platform that includes third-party funding, providing buyers with a variety of financing strategies they can offer their supply base. Basware has long been acknowledged for its working capital services portfolio, delivering multiple payment and financing options that enable companies to realise greater financial agility, flexibility, and liquidity.

Tied for #2 in UI/Guided Buying (Critical Capability) – 3.8

Strength in Basware’s UI and guided buying lead to higher levels of user adoption, creating a more compliant purchasing process and more control over spend across your organisation.

Tied for #1 in Integration (Critical Capability) - 4.3.

Integration capabilities will be critical in a future where multiple solutions will function together for the best business results. Basware integrates with 250+ ERPs, multiple procurement solutions, and various tax systems.

#3 in Procurement (Use case) – 4.01

Basware’s modern e-procurement solution fits seamlessly into how people and businesses already work to increase user adoption and mimic a consumer-like shopping experience. Purchasing leaders gain complete spend visibility and increased control to better negotiate contracts, improve supplier relationships, and become a true, strategic business advisor for their company.

#3 in Complex P2P Focused (Use Case) – 3.9

While being a leading indirect P2P solution, Basware also brings advanced catalog and inventory management capabilities to the forefront for buyers with more sophisticated needs. Inventory management is crucial in tracking the receipt and distribution of goods from warehouses to sites and managing the flow of re-orders in real-time to prevent overbuying and duplicate purchasing.

In their summary of Basware, Gartner stated that “Basware is the No. 1 vendor in the AP automation use case…Basware also scores in the top three vendors for the procurement, complex P2P and direct materials use cases. This result suggests it is a good fit for organisations planning to manage both direct and indirect spend categories with a single P2P suite.”

Critical Capabilities Categories

The Critical Capabilities for P2P Suites 2019 report uses the same sources of information as does the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Suites report. These sources include:

  • End-user clients,

  • Customer feedback,

  • Vendor demos,

  • Survey responses, and

  • Reference clients

Gartner believes there are four main components to a P2P suite: e-purchasing, catalog management, e-invoicing, and accounts payable invoice automation (APIA).

1. E-purchasing

E-purchasing enables employees to order goods and services through a centralised, controlled solution, similar to online shopping. When looking at a vendor’s e-purchasing capabilities, things such as the creation of a requisition through e-forms, catalogs, or free text orders are examined. Additionally, the general ease of use and automated capabilities are considered.

2. Catalog management

Purchasing catalogs provide a literal catalog of the products and services that can be purchased for internal use in an organisation. Employees can create purchase requisitions, order from them, and they can be used to enforce purchasing policies to reduce maverick spend and increase compliance. Catalog management assesses the ease of accessing catalog content for placement in a shopping cart and eventual purchase. Internal-managed catalogs, supplier-managed catalogs, and punch-out or marketplace shop abilities all contribute to a strong catalog management feature within a solution.

3. e-invoicing

E-invoicing is the electronic exchange of an invoice rather than the traditional paper-based exchange. Determining how capable a vendor is at e-invoicing boils down to how capable and versatile they are at exchanging and legally storing invoices in an electronic format. This also examines a vendor’s ability to accept multiple formats of invoices such as EDI, punch-out, supplier self-service PO flip, and CSV file upload and print drivers.

4. AP automation

 Accounts payable (AP) automation refers to the automated technology that is used to streamline the entire AP process from invoice receipt to payment. AP invoice automation (APIA) solutions are evaluated on their ability to process 100% of invoices for all types and formats, whether it be EDI, XML, paper, PDF, and both PO and non-PO invoices for direct and indirect spending.

Aside from these four features, services procurement, analytics, supply chain collaboration and visibility, inventory management, and supply chain financing are considered additional functionalities.

How are scores calculated?

Each capability is assigned a certain value from 1 to 5 with 1 decreeing that the capability is either extremely poor or missing entirely and 5 determining that the capability is not only met but exceeded. Then, each capability is weighted regarding how relevant it is to a specific product or service use case. This ranking is applied to both the critical capabilities and use cases to determine a vendor’s overall score.

Use cases address the key business problems that are best suited for P2P capabilities. They are intended to portray the most common needs of organisations searching for a P2P suite. And although modern businesses will likely require a combination of these use cases to check all their boxes, they at least provide insight into various vendors’ abilities in certain areas.

Ready to learn more?

Read more about Basware’s rankings by downloading Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Procure-to-Pay Suites 2019 report.

Want to see how these capabilities contributed to Basware being named a P2P Leader? Download the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites report.

Questions about our P2P solutions? Contact us.

VP of Purchase to Pay Product Management, Basware Sami Peltonen, is VP of P2P Product Management. Sami boasts more than two decades developing and delivering solutions that streamline procurement and finance professionals’ daily lives, enabling them to achieve greater efficiencies within their organisations. Sami currently leads Basware’s P2P Roadmap and Product strategy.