eProcurement Transformation — Getting Buy In from Your Organization


Change management continues to be one of the single hardest challenges that organizations face daily. As I have heard and read it takes 21 days to learn a habit. So how can you ensure your users get in the “habit” of following your procurement processes? Good question to begin with….do you have an established process for purchasing?


For increased adoption and a good user experience, it is imperative that your end users understand the organizational goals and initiatives and in return what that can mean to the company bottom line (and them!) Ariba Customer Success can help you develop a Success Plan that puts your organizational goals into a framework to track and report against. From there, you can begin to identify areas for increased usage and adoption, spend/contract leakage, and drive more through your P2P/Buyer application.


Best Practice Suggestions:

  • Develop a process and program for how purchasing will take place among your business units/departments.
  • Publish, teach and train end users on how to follow the process. Executive Sponsorship of process is imperative.
  • Design and implement an internal newsletter calling out procurement success by individual, department, and or team. This allows end users to see how their efforts aid the organization.
  • Incentivize end users through individual or inter-departmental awards. Competition can make mundane tasks fun and exciting and ultimately enforce your published policies.


Best Practice P2P Tip of the Day from IOMA:

In today's world, AP and purchasing can no longer work in "silos." That is, the two departments need to collaborate because they are the two components of the all-important procure-to-pay (P2P) process. And there are significant cost savings that can be found if AP and purchasing work together.


One area that can benefit from this collaboration is noncompliant (maverick) spending, both indirect and direct. Noncompliant indirect spending includes things like office supplies, computers and consulting services. Direct (contract) noncompliant spending includes non-PO purchases, invoices coming in with no associated PO, or POs opened with non-approved vendors.


Best-in-class companies manage the P2P process so that fewer purchases are made outside their purchasing process. When someone tries to use a non-PO-type vendor, it should be visible within the system and a determination can be made if the purchase is appropriate. For example, the vendor master file control process can be tweaked so that purchasing gets alerted when non-PO-type vendors are being set up.


A little analysis can uncover noncompliant spending and the lost savings can be calculated. This lost savings can be interpolated based on your total spending to come up with a total potential savings.


For more information go to: www.iofmonline.org


Best Practices for P Card Success

The best way to ensure success of your purchasing card (p-card) program is to have a formal and detailed policy and procedures manual for cardholders and administrators. This will also help with control of the program because it spells out what is—and is not—allowable in terms of p-card usage.


At a minimum, the manual should include:

  • an explanation of why p-cards should be used (benefits);
  • how cardholders can obtain a card and activate it;
  • a cardholder agreement that spells out responsibilities and liabilities;
  • the types of purchases that should go through the p-card;
  • any specific vendors that should be paid via the p-card;
  • any limits on the use of the p-card (types of transactions, size of purchases, monthly limits, etc.);
  • receipt requirements, reconciliation procedures, and record retention policy; and
  • what cardholders should do if their cards are lost or stolen;

The policy should be updated whenever a change is made or, at a minimum, once every year.


Adoption Best Practice Tip

Boost their skills.

Send staff to training to make them feel more a part of the  organization—they’ll give back by working faster and more efficiently. Also, cross-train every employees so that  anyone can step in for anyone else who is missing. One way to do this is through a job-sharing  program.

Probably the most valuable aspect of motivating your staff is simply having employees who are more satisfied with their work. And more satisfied employees means more productive employees.


Discuss training opportunities with your Customer Success Manager—Ariba University courses, Customer Success Lunch & Learns, User Groups, etc.


AP Automation and Productivity

Automating your invoice processing operation increases efficiency because it reduces the “touch points” an invoice has to go through on its way to payment. For example, you no longer have to route invoices by hand—electronic versions are routed using Ariba automated workflow and passed thorough to the accounting system for payment.


With electronic invoicing, AP doesn’t even see the invoices coming in—they are automatically received, matched to POs, and then paid. For non-PO invoices, the electronic bills are automatically routed to approvers. All AP sees are the exceptions (and any invoices that do not come through the e-invoicing process).


A recent survey conducted by the Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA) found these productivity improvements when going from a low level to a high level of AP automation:

  • average number of PO payments per month per AP staff member: from 930 to 3,647;
  • average number of non-PO payments per month per AP staff member: from 934 to 2,263; and
  • average number of T&E expense report payments per month per AP staff member: from 450 to 1,335.




This has been another Knowledge Nugget post brought to you by Beverly Dunn.

For more information or details please feel free to contact me!