Preparing your Procure to Pay Processes for Transformation

Sabrina Palmer

July 21, 2015

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For those organizations who are using paper requisitions or who have enabled their processes with technology there is still the opportunity to examine your procure to pay processes to ensure that they are fully optimized. It is important to examine your procure to pay processes and compare them against the capabilities in the marketplace. In doing so you may find there are several areas in which you need to change your practices by implementing software. Before you embark on transforming your processes keep the following points in mind.

Identify Stakeholders
It is important to identify who the key stakeholders are in your organization. Stakeholders are in senior management, your staff, your customers and suppliers (both internal and external). Build rapport with your stakeholders by understanding their needs and expectations as it relates to your procurement processes. In some cases their needs are met but the real reward of the conversation will lead you to the pain points of your process and the areas where there are opportunities to improve. Once you've passed the rapport building and information gathering stages, you can obtain buy in from stakeholders to support your transformation journey. Throughout the journey be sure to keep your stakeholders informed by communicating your thoughts, findings and decisions.

Understand your processes
In addition to building relationships with your stakeholders it is also important to evaluate and optimize workflow if it's possible. In some cases you may need technology to achieve your ideal state. In either case, you will avoid automating a bad or unnecessary process. As part of this exercise, understand what is working well and identify instances where your process is unique to your organization. Leverage and engage the process actors to ensure your success in this area. Fully discuss the changes that would exist between your current state and the designed future state. Spend time eliciting concerns through one on one sessions as well as in group sessions. Vetting the desired future state ensures that you are clear on the improvements as well as on the risks.

Identify technology
Working internally clarifies your goals and internal needs prior to exploring the technology solutions that are available in the marketplace. This approach prepares you to understand how the new system will alleviate the pain points. It is important to understand how the new system changes the duties of the current staff and any training needed to make them proficient at go live. Throughout the process it is important to understand, what is going to be different.

Collaborate with your peers
Depending on the level of maturity in your processes you may begin to feel overwhelmed as you embark on this journey. Remember that there are others who have done this before so identify counterparts who have gone through the same process. You can identify your counterparts through local organizations or through a solution provider. Ask a solution provider to help you identify clients who may have had similar requirements as you do. Many of your peers will gladly share their lessons learned so that your transformation is successful.

About Sabrina
With more than 10 years of experience, Sabrina has a proven track record of knowing how to get the job done when working with clients to help them raise their productivity levels. In her current professional role, Sabrina puts her leadership skills and expertise to work to help organizations improve their bottom line by implementing technology solutions to automate their procure-to-pay processes.

Sabrina is a first generation college student and graduate. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Columbia University and a Masters in Information Systems from Steven's Institute of Technology. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt and Kaizen Leader.

When Sabrina isn't busy leading a team or project, she is spending quality time with her husband and their two children in Raleigh, NC.

What others are saying about Sabrina:
"Sabrina is known to be a 'make a difference leader' that drives sustainable and impactful results. "
"It was a pleasure to work with Sabrina as a client. Sabrina brings great abilities and character traits that are not easy to find in the world today.”

Her favorite quote:
'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.'
~ Vivian Greene

You can learn more about Sabrina Palmer here:
twitter: @sabbynyc

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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