E Procurement

The pillars of procure-to-pay: Part 4 — fuel business agility and growth

This article about the procure-to-pay process first appeared in September 2016 and was updated to reflect new information on supplier adoption in June 2022.

In the first three installments of our series on Procure-to-Pay technology, we focused on:


  1. Consolidating all your spend under management
  2. Global compliance
  3. Supplier adoption

Ensuring an effective, efficient procure-to-pay process is essential for any thriving company. Considering firms can see a 315% ROI after deploying a cloud-based P2P solution, it’s crucial to acknowledge the power of adequately adopting these technologies.

But it doesn’t just stop there.

P2P success depends on your organization’s ability to remain resilient and adapt your processes amid a rapidly changing environment. Having the best technology available means nothing if your team isn’t trained in using it, or doesn’t know how best to leverage it.

The ability to rapidly expand your business is made possible by two principles: 


  1. Dynamic capability — in terms of speed, skill, and responsiveness
  2. A stable core — this is regarding automation and standardization.

The trick is to strike a balance between both. Do you really want a “no PO, no pay” mentality that may not be needed?

Antiquated processes become that way for a reason. At some point, they served their purpose, but now, more efficient capabilities have come along and proven their worth.

Because of these developments, you don’t need to settle for rigid, controlling software and processes that stifle communication and innovation. The availability of newer, more flexible P2P software supports your business requirements and workflows naturally while simultaneously ensuring controls and compliance.

To get specific, there are three aspects of procure-to-pay that stimulate business agility and growth rather than slow it down:


1. Direct, seamless collaboration

From purchase orders to payments, your AP team, suppliers, managers, and employees need to be able to communicate and collaborate in a centralized hub. No more emailing, faxing, or waiting and wondering. Exception resolution should be a breeze.

Straight-through processing should be the goal, but it’s not always possible. In cases where it’s not possible, you still need to have an easy process. Transaction flows should be completed as quickly as possible to reduce processing times.


2. Open dialogue between buyers and sellers

Great supplier partners want to see you succeed. After all, helping your company by offering their innovation and insights is what they’re there for. A strong supplier strives to understand your business needs and help you select the right product or service to meet your purposes.

Tradeshift prides itself on our central database, which stores all communication records. In addition to being extremely easy to navigate, our software facilitates communication with buyers or suppliers about errors or missing information. With our platform, chat logs, emails, and letters are all stored within our database, making them easy to find and address, saving you time and your sanity.

Procure-to-pay collaboration tools like those provided by Tradeshift ensure that buyers and suppliers can have an open conversation about what the buying company needs, giving the supplier the ability to help provide the right solution.

As strategic partnerships form and supplier engagement increases, you gain unique benefits like: 


  • Access to your supplier’s best people
  • Resources required to serve account relationships
  • Preferred access to your supplier’s latest technological advances
  • More favorable terms and share risk
  • Priority over resources or production capacity in times of scarcity.


3. Ability to extend your reach

Instead of investing in multiple solutions, why not go with one that is open, has an intuitive user experience, and provides value to your suppliers? Saving time and money by centralizing this process, rather than depending on programs that vary in reliability and effectiveness, is not only the smart move but also the right one.

A platform like Tradeshift’s, which offers integrations with third-party applications, enables you to extend your procure-to-pay processes as you evolve and pivot to support your company’s product or service roadmap continually.

With our notable list of integrations, Tradeshift works with partners to create the most seamless experience for you. One such partner, Sovos, keeps your mind at ease no matter where you do business by ensuring compliance and preventing fraud on our platform.

Additionally, our integration with Quyntess offers customers a closed-loop P2P process while drastically reducing time-to-value. Tools like these allow Tradeshift users to do more than any other platform or solution on the market – all within one place.

Here’s a recap of the key points to look for in a solution from our four-part procure-to-pay pillar series:


  • Shoot to get as much spend under management
  • Allow for barrier-free business without sacrificing compliance
  • Get all your suppliers on one system, in one place
  • Supplier collaboration and solution extensibility allows you to add value and innovate

It’s hard to ignore the value of a streamlined, efficient P2P process. Adapting alongside cutting-edge technology doesn’t just improve your processes; it informs your entire business strategy. A strong P2P process can be the difference between success and staying in the technological dark ages for most companies. See how Tradeshift can help you transform your procure-to-pay processes by signing up for a demo now.


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