Organizations across all industries, from retail to construction to education, rely on Procure-to-Pay (P2P) solutions to convert negotiated contracts to realized savings. Deploying a new P2P solution is a big undertaking that requires collaboration with many stakeholders from suppliers to business and technical leads.
Every detail matters when tracking and managing the deployment of a P2P solution—gathering content from suppliers to fulfilling the needs of every internal team. And the most successful P2P implementations require teamwork from both internal and external stakeholders.
Our leaders come from a perfect blend of both eProcurement and eCommerce backgrounds. Over the years, we’ve learned first-hand the right processes to follow to ensure we deploy every solution successfully.
Related read >> Creating the future of eProcurement
Below are five best practices to ensure a successful P2P implementation.
1. Set realistic timelines.
Preparing to deploy a new P2P solution is exciting! Companies can’t wait to see what the platform can do and start realizing ROI. It’s tempting to rush the process and set a go-live date on a condensed timeline, but rushing the process could lead to more problems such as subpar catalog content and incomplete testing. Deploying a solution takes time, attention to detail, and patience.
Pro tip: Set aside the necessary time to define well-rounded business and technical requirements, gather enriched catalog content, and thoroughly test the solution before going live. Organizations should focus on doing it right ... not doing it too quickly. A great user experience and strong adoption should be the primary motivators when following the timeline tasks.
2. Prioritize high-quality content.
Supplier content can make or break a P2P solution. Great catalog content enables powerful search, which helps organizations realize savings and reduce off-contract spend. Following best practices for enabling suppliers and gathering catalog content helps strengthen supplier relationships and ensure end users have the information they need to make informed buying decisions.
Pro tip: Quality is better than quantity. Make it a goal to develop content that strengthens the ability to search and enables users to find what they need. After all, the better the content, the better the experience! Allow enough time to work with suppliers and enrich the content. Bonus: With BuyerQuest, suppliers can easily manage and update their content to stay relevant.
3. Get teams in sync.
Typically, business and technical teams collaborate to form a P2P deployment coalition. Each team has unique needs and uses for the P2P solution. For example, the business team uses the front end of the solution and the technical team needs to ensure that the data coming from the solution fulfills transactional support requirements.
Pro tip: Get each team on the same page and speaking the same language. Regular meetings and collaborative requirements can be a great starting point. At BuyerQuest, we like to work with each work stream individually to understand their needs and requirements. This allows us to focus on the unique needs of each team and ensure all requirements are met. After identifying the gaps between work streams, we bring representatives from each team together and find solutions to mitigate the gaps.
4. Launch a global solution.
Regardless of the deployment approach—regionally phased or a global big bang—it’s imperative that global organizations facilitate a comprehensive discovery and design phase, which often entails standardization of organizational processes. This ensures the development of a single solution that satisfies the needs of each region and has a universal upgrade path.
Pro tip: Include regional SMEs during the discovery and design phase to support business processes and technical integrations for each deployment region. The key to success is making sure there is equal input on functionality, integrations, and interface to ensure a standardized user experience is delivered across the globe.
5. Communicate with stakeholders.
Clear and consistent communication with all stakeholders during deployment can be a daunting task, but it is crucial to building excitement and ensuring user adoption. Communication with team member ensures that decisions are made in a timely manner and deadlines aren’t jeopardized. Put simply: communication is essential to the success of a smooth deployment.
Pro Tip: Build a strategic communication plan and schedule regular meetings to stay on track. Team meetings ensure that each work stream has a regular avenue to collaborate, share progress, review risks and identify mitigation strategies. Bonus: BuyerQuest uses a unique methodology to centralize the management, maintenance, and publication of project documentation.
BuyerQuest’s Guiding Principles
- Teamwork: We’re two teams working together to deliver to a common goal.
- Do it right: Focus on doing it right rather than doing it too quickly.
- Be Transparent: Transparency and honesty between both teams are essential to working together.
- Communicate: Clear and consistent communication will keep progress on track.
At BuyerQuest, we make it a priority to maximize opportunities and execute successful implementations with every one of our customers.
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