Scientists spend up to 20% of their week searching website by website for lab supplies for their experiments. This does not include time spent by the lab manager and/or R&D procurement on the purchase order, order tracking, and payment processes. Procure-to-pay (P2P) automation is a huge step towards eliminating the manual elements that waste time and resources. According to recent research from McKinsey & Co., “Companies deploying automated P2P have achieved 15 to 25 percent savings in most transactions and reduced processing times from days to minutes.”
|Procure-to-pay (P2P)||The integration of purchasing and accounts payable systems, resulting in an end-to-end process from product selection through payment.|
|Source-to-pay (S2P)||End-to-end process that incorporates P2P, and also includes sourcing and contracting.|
|PunchOut catalog||Mechanism used by P2P / S2P systems enabling buyers to purchase supplies from pre-determined suppliers through the buyer’s own procurement portal.|
|eCommerce marketplace||Website where a buyer can shop for and procure products from multiple vendors all on the same platform.|
Besides saving time and money, benefits are plentiful, such as a better end-user experience for scientists and procurement, enhanced spend oversight, increased scientific supplier choice via use of PunchOut catalogs, easier order tracking, and integration with ERP systems.
To do it correctly and optimize benefits, true stakeholder buy-in is essential. Other challenges include ensuring that all sources of spend are captured, accounts payable is fully integrated, spend taxonomy is unified, and stakeholders are properly trained on the new system.
Any industry can benefit from P2P. However, research-related fields require additional, nuanced support to alleviate the time-consuming process of lab supply procurement. R&D procurement often supplements P2P or S2P platforms with ZAGENO, a first-of-its-kind eCommerce marketplace, to make purchasing lab supplies as Amazon-like as possible.
Popular choices include SAP Ariba, Coupa, Jaggaer (SciQuest), and Oracle Cloud Procurement. ZAGENO integrates seamlessly with all four of these ERP-based P2P systems and is ideal for organizations that want to get started quickly and scale up as needed. ZAGENO also offers custom integrations for other ERP solutions.
The goal of any digital transformation project is to improve operations and processes in a way that delivers value to the customers. Procurement automation through P2P implementation is one of the surest ways to do just that.