How to set the scene for your Source to Pay project
Implementing a Source to Pay System is an important step towards better saving opportunities, improved efficiency and better control over spend. However, in order to take advantage of the full spectrum of benefits that come with a new Source to Pay system, organisations need to make sure they get the implementation process right.
The processes that go on before, during and after implementation can have a major impact on the success or failure of your project. This is why it’s so important to get these processes right the first time.
In today’s article we are going to talk about setting the scene for your Source to Pay implementation project. We know how important it is for organisations to focus all their attention on these 3 steps, during the “pre-implementation” phase of a Source to Pay project, in order to ensure project success:
- Developing the Procurement Target Operating Model and Business Case
- Choosing the right System & Implementation Partner
- Mobilising Resources and Building Project Team Structure
Now let us have a look at some key aspects from each phase.
Developing the Procurement Target Operating Model and Business Case
The success of a Source to Pay implementation project depends on having a clear picture of the desired “end state” you want to achieve. Defining the future structure of your organisation, including the resources, processes and technology needed, and where procurement fits within the organisation, can make the difference between success and failure.
A Procurement Target Operating Model helps everyone involved in the project to understand how a Source to Pay solution will support your business processes. It should reflect the culture of the organisation and should reflect a vision of where the company wants to be in its procurement space. It should include:
- Strategic elements such as governance, stakeholder engagement, people and performance development;
- Centralised/specialised, scalable functions, including global processing, e-procurement and spend analytics;
- Transactional activities, such as invoicing, purchase order processing and contract management.
Designing a strong, detailed Procurement Target Operating Model is going to have a major impact when developing the business case and it will help to quantify the benefits and costs.
Each business case for a Source to Pay solution will differ depending on the size and type of the business undertaking the change and the scope of the work being undertaken in each phase. Implementing a Source to Pay system is always a long-term investment.
You can read more about the first phase of a Source to Pay project in the first chapter of our pre-implementation preparation guide. You can download it here.
Choosing the right System & Implementation Partner
- System Selection
Whether we’re talking about procurement, finance or even marketing and sales, we cannot stress this enough, there is no one size fits all solution. No matter how great, some Source to Pay solutions will just not solve your organisation’s challenges because they’re not the right fit.
Doing your due diligence during the pre-implementation phase will enable you to make the right decision when selecting the right system for your organization.
When selecting a new system, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the project and to frame your procurement vision so that your organisation can build an effective and complete RFP in preparation for the implementation. This is called building a Solution Blueprint.
The Solution Blueprint will enable you to develop your technology procurement process, including the criteria by which you assess responses to your RFP. Your goal is to select a solution that will meet your diverse requirements, without adding unnecessary complexity.
- Partner Selection
Selecting the right system implementation partner can be critical to the success of your project. When evaluating your candidates there are a couple of things you should take into account:
- Experience of implementing Source to Pay cloud solutions
- Evidence of success and references
- Professional methodology
- Cultural fit
- Cost vs. Value
You want an implementation partner that has the right technical skills and necessary experience, but also one that you can trust and has the ability to get along well with your own team.
You can read more about choosing the right system and implementation partner in the second chapter of our pre-implementation preparation guide. You can download it here.
Mobilising Resources and Building Project Team Structure
Now that you have established the vision for your procurement transformation project, have selected the right system and implementation partner for your organization, it’s time to mobilise the resources and define the roles within the project team.
The success of your project depends on the ability to get the right people and resources in place.
This is not a task that you would come across everyday and your implementation partner will be able to advise you on what types of resources will be required and what capabilities they should have. You will need to ensure that individuals are identified and assigned to roles within the project structure.
Senior management also plays an important part at this stage, as they will need to ensure that staff are committed to the project.
These are the steps that organisations need to follow during this stage:
- Identify resources
- Build the project team
- Define key roles and responsibilities
- Other resources
- Define key success factors
The third chapter of our Source to Pay pre-implementation preparation guide offers advice on how to plan out this phase of the project and helps you define the key roles and responsibilities for everyone involved. You can download it here.
If you would like to learn more about the pre-implementation phase of your Source to Pay project, you can book a meeting with our team of procurement consultants here.