In the previous installment of this series, we reviewed the importance of costing each step of an automation initiative, benchmarking other organizations’ implementations for guidance, and remapping your processes to streamline and improve them. Once this is done and a project plan has been laid out, it’s time to look for a vendor.
Narrowing the Field
In the last part of this series, we discussed the importance of assembling a team of people from every single department that touches the P2P process, even those on the periphery, like technology and human resources. This team will map the overall process from start to finish.
Figure the Costs
In part 3 of this series, we covered the need for aligning AP, Finance and Purchasing before attempting any automation initiative. This necessitates AP taking on a greater leadership role by collecting metrics to help identify bottlenecks and broken processes, all of which can torpedo automation.
In Part 2 of this series, we discussed how important it is to clean up messy, catch-as-catch-can processes in AP before attempting to automate. Because AP is the last touchpoint in a long chain of potential inefficiencies, trying to automate AP without addressing the larger organizational problems can doom any such initiative before it even gets off the ground. But where to start?
Step 3: Aligning AP, Finance and Purchasing
In Part 1 of this series, we began to discuss the pitfalls of AP automation, and why so many organizations struggle with these implementations. The fact is, the difficulty usually comes not through lack of effort and initiative, but rather arises from the fact that AP comes at the end of an often-chaotic purchasing process.
Part 1: Exactly What Is the Problem Here?You’ll read about automation as the magic bullet for everything that’s wrong with accounts payable. It’s supposed to speed up processing and save costs, the two main goals that AP is usually tasked with. And yet, implementing an automation solution without first digging deeper to fix problems at the root will likely result in significant disruption, and may even make things worse.
Why Is… Read More
By Pam Miller, APMD
When getting ready to implement a new process or system, we often run the old and new processes or systems in tandem. Sometimes this takes the form of a pilot or a test project and sometimes we run systems in parallel to ensure that if there are any issues with the new process or system we can revert to the old one and still get the job done.
While this is a good safeguard, it’s important to commit to making the… Read More