Three Steps to Ensure a Successful Procure-to-Pay Solution Implementation

Sabrina Palmer

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Successfully implementing a new procure-to-pay solution takes a lot of coordination and effort. This not only requires the implementation team to focus on the business requirements, but a successful implementation is managing the intangibles like customer buy-in, change, and expectations. Below are three critical success factors that ensure your procure-to-pay solution implementation is a success.

Project Sponsorship

Ensuring there are strong executive sponsors who articulate the goals and the vision for the solution implementation sets the stage for your project's success. Whether it is diversifying the preferred supplier base, increasing contract compliance, or taking advantage of supplier discounts, your project sponsor sets the vision for the solution implementation.

The executive sponsor defines the procure-to-pay strategy for how the technology is expected to support the organization's procure-to-pay goals. In order for the organization to achieve its goals, business owners need to adhere to new procurement processes and use the technology. Having a project sponsor who ensures collaboration with business owners also sets the project up for success.

Executive sponsorship demonstrates to the organization that the project is supported. If the need to prioritize resources and remove roadblocks arises during your implementation, having strong project sponsorship helps to meet that need.

Preparation

Before implementing a procure-to-pay solution, it is essential to understand the shortcomings in the current state processes and to redesign your processes to have a more efficient workflow. This allows better use of the technology that will support your organization. Include your end users in this process so you not only understand the pain points but to also brainstorm how to achieve the desired future state. By including your end users in this process they will have more ownership in the future state and are more likely to adopt the new processes and technology.

In addition to understanding your processes, it makes sense to set realistic expectations about what the staff and the core team can do prior to kicking off your implementation project. Working with your solution provider to understand the scope of work and the time commitment to your resources ensures your project's success.

End User Adoption

After months and sometimes years of implementing a new system, having your end users actively using the system is key! After all, that is the purpose of the journey. During your implementation, prepare your end users and the rest of the organization for the transition through change management. By periodically vetting the configuration of the new system and exposing the end users to decisions that made you give more ownership in the implementation process. In addition, setting the expectations for what the system will do and what the organization expects to gain from the implementation, prepares the end users for a change. Likewise, ensuring end users are appropriately trained for tasks helps to build their confidence and system meets their needs.

A strong systematic approach to making an organization's workflow more effective, more efficient, and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment has strengthened Sabrina Palmer's expertise in problem-solving, leadership, and analysis.

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