Source-to-pay, also known as S2P, is the complete end-to-end process that leads to a successful procurement procedure. From the beginning of the source-to-pay process, where the sourcing begins, to the last step where the vendors get paid, multiple tasks need to be facilitated correctly and efficiently so the entire business can benefit from the endeavor.
The source-to-pay tasks involve spending management, vendor management, purchasing performance management, and accounts payable to all be on the same page. The source-to-pay process helps everything move along smoothly from start to finish and ensures that all of the parties involved stay within the lines of the contracts. In order for the whole process to work out virtually flawlessly every time it takes a bit of expertise and critical thinking.
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Planning the Process
It is very important to have an idea of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. Since there are so many crucial steps in the procurement process it is best to jot out your thoughts and strategies on paper or in a document so you can take a step back and look at the whole picture before you take steps to make it happen. It is easier to see issues before they happen if you take the time to plan things out and strategize a path from start to finish that will be both effective and beneficial.
Sourcing the Goods
Finding the vendors and service providers that will best suit your needs can be a bit daunting, but it can also introduce opportunities to cultivate relationships that last and have beneficial properties for everybody involved. It takes a good deal of valuable work to find a great supplier, cementing a deal with that supplier, then solidifying a contract that works for both of you. After the initial planning phase of the process, the next step is to start the process of generating dependable, quality sources that will become valuable assets.
Ordering and Buying
Buying, or ordering your products or services will be the next step in the process. This part can get a little tricky at times because it is up to you, or your procurement specialist to make sure that every part of the bargains that were agreed upon in the contracts are withheld. In many cases, businesses use a digitized source-to-pay solution in order to facilitate the process. SaaS, also known as software as a service, allows users to browse catalogs, shop online, and administrate the whole process by logging into a platform and using digital tools. A digitized platform allows the process to be efficient, accurate, and easy.
The final step in the process is settling all of the invoices and paying the bills. Each company will have its own unique way of handling this step because every company has its own needs. Some companies have the procurement department manually pay each vendor and each invoice. Digital source-to-pay platforms, which are becoming very popular over the last year because of the pandemic, will have a built-in system that handles most of the grunt work of everything involved, including the payment process.
Completion of Process
From the beginning of the process with planning and strategy building, through finding the right vendors, then ordering, and finally paying for the goods the source-to-pay process can be quite a bit of work. However, it is an essential part of being a successful organization. If done correctly, the S2P process can save precious time and a substantial amount of money. When the process is complete, the money is squared up and the goods are delivered you can now continue to keep the same flow and have a great process to use for years to come.