Procure to Pay Automation

Ensuring Successful Procure to Pay Automation

​Your company's ability to grow and thrive depends on your willingness to embrace strategies that improve your efficiency.

One of the critical ways for businesses to become more efficient is to automate their procure-to-pay (P2P) processes.

While this approach offers many benefits to business owners, some procurement directors remain resistant to it.

  • Have you been searching for a cost-effective way to increase efficiency in your procurement department? 

  • Have you considered P2P automation but worry that your procurement staff will be resistant to automation?
  • Below are the top five reasons that procurement directors oppose P2P automation and a look at some of the many reasons why they should embrace it.

    ​1. The benefits of P2P automation are not outlined in advance.

    ​Failure to tell procurement directors precisely how P2P automation will specifically benefit them can leave procurement directors frustrated and resistant to change.

    They begin to wonder why P2P automation is being implemented and develop an increasingly negative attitude about payment automation.

    ​2. Procurement directors worry that they could lose their jobs.

    ​Some procurement directors remember the elimination of factory jobs when they think about the prospect of process automation

    They immediately conclude that P2P process automation will cause them to lose their jobs in a fashion that is similar to factory workers.

    ​3. They worry that productivity will suffer during the transition.

    ​Many process-related transitions are associated with employee downtime, hindered employee productivity, and a steep learning curve.

    Additionally, some procurement directors who work with overseas suppliers worry that there will be time zone delays and a lack of real-time data.

    ​4. Concerns about data breaches overshadow a focus on benefits.

    ​Procurement directors sometimes worry that a switch to P2P automation will contribute to a rise in data breaches and fraud.

    That is especially the case when a supplier has a limited network.

    In addition to concerns about data breaches, some procurement directors worry about the possibility of compliance failure.

    ​5. Communication regarding P2P automation has been poor or nonexistent.

    ​Poor communication between company executives and procurement directors can cause bruised feelings and resentment toward P2P process automation.

    Procurement managers might begin to feel isolated and may wonder that their departmental needs are unimportant or will be unmet.

    ​How to Ensure Successful Procure-to-Pay Automation

    ​Resistance to P2P automation is natural.

    The five concerns outlined above, combined with a fear of the unknown, might lead procurement directors to become increasingly resistant to change.

    Fortunately, company officials can efficiently address the concerns above by communicating with procurement directors about the many benefits of P2P automation. 

    ​Here are the five steps that company officials can take to help procurement directors overcome their resistance to P2P automation.

    ​1. Tell procurement directors exactly what's in it for them.

    ​The first and most crucial step to winning over procurement directors is to outline the many ways that P2P automation will make their jobs smoother and more manageable.

    Here are a few specific ways in which P2P automation benefits procurement directors:

    • ​Procurement staff can turn their attention to more pressing, value-added job tasks
    • Supplier relationships are easier to track and manage
    • Procurement directors can take advantage of discounts for advance payments
    • Compliance with supplier contracts is more straightforward to ensure

    ​2. Reassure procurement directors that their jobs are secure.

    ​Procurement directors will not be fully open to P2P automation until they are confident that their jobs are safe.

    You can help instill confidence in procurement directors by explaining that the goal of process automation is not to eliminate their jobs, but rather to help procurement staff operate more accurately and efficiently.

    Let them know that their job satisfaction will likely increase because of the ability to perform tasks that are more valuable and innovative.

    ​3. Let procurement directors know that they will experience minimal downtime.

    ​In contrast to most process transitions, the transition to P2P automation is fast, easy, and involves minimal downtime.

    Procurement staff can quickly adapt to P2P automation and begin to increase their focus on more productive tasks, including the following:

    ​4. Outline mechanisms to prevent fraud and data breaches.

    ​Top P2P automation providers have built-in mechanisms to prevent data breaches and fraud.

    For instance, they provide tight in-house control over operations and maintain interconnections with supplier systems.

    Additionally, they provide real-time data and help ensure compliance with changing industry regulations.

    Most important, top P2P providers offer outstanding accessibility and support in the unlikely event of a data breach or fraudulent activity.

    5. ​Communicate regularly about the transition to P2P automation.

    ​One of the best ways to ensure that procurement directors are on board with the transition to P2P automation is to provide them with regular updates on the change. Here are some tips to help company executives win over procurement directors through communication:

    • ​Involve procurement directors in initial brainstorming meetings about moving to P2P automation
    • Ask procurement directors to outline their concerns about P2P automation
    • Offer reassurance by addressing any concerns directly and swiftly
    • Provide regular updates on the transition to P2P automation
    • Generate excitement among procurement staff by launching a countdown to the go-live date

    ​The Bottom Line

    ​There are many benefits associated with P2P automation. However, a smooth transition to P2P automation can be hindered by employee resistance to change, especially among procurement directors.

    The keys to ensuring a successful switch are regular proactive communication and a clear explanation of the ways that P2P automation benefits procurement directors.

    By following the five steps above, you can ensure that your transition to P2P automation is seamless.

    ​Don't Get Left Behind

    ​Schedule a free consultation with Visichain to ensure your supply chain and procurement operations continue to evolve and remain competitive in today's dynamic ​environment.

    Richard McGirr

    Do you need to create value and deliver change in your enterprise? With Visichain as your partner, you can leverage over 1 million hours of supply chain transformation experience from some of the largest companies in the world. Visichain drives visibility, productivity, and efficiency throughout your entire supply chain. Supply chain visibility at scale is essential to your business. Starting with the production of products all the way through free on board receiving, your business needs real-time data to help you minimize risk, drive efficiency, and make better decisions. Visichain designs, develops, and implements powerful yet easy to use software. Powerful solutions crafted to help your executives and supply chain managers leverage multiple data systems to partner with sourcing suppliers in real time. When you're ready to kick your procurement transformation strategy into high gear, send me a message through LinkedIn.