Blog Post

1 Quick-Win Way to Combat an Unstable Supply Chain: Optimize Your Procure-to-Pay Process

Disruption breeds complexity. And with all the supply chain concerns that have been in the news of late, the procure-to-pay (P2P) process is long overdue for an operational makeover. Whether it impacts sales because of stockouts or your business’ inability to deliver what customers are expecting on time and in full, your business’ bottom line—and reputation—is at stake. 

In short, your broken P2P process may be putting you at risk of losing revenue. 


Why your P2P process is at risk 

The P2P process refers to a business’ procurement of goods, from creating a requisition to buy goods all the way to paying for an order. It generally runs on manual inter-company trade transactions, such as invoices, order acknowledgements and advanced shipping notices.

Because of the constant disruption we’ve seen since the COVID-19 pandemic first shut down economies across the globe, these supply-chain-related documents have become business-critical; they offer procurement teams (hopefully working in concert with the rest of the organization) real-time visibility into their supply chain to anticipate shifts and diversify if needed.  

And even though we’re half-way through 2021, in the manufacturing and distribution sectors, these documents are still often sent via email, which means they must be manually processed… if they’re processed at all. 

Herein lies the danger to your supply chain: Emailed documents that you receive from suppliers that go unchecked leave you susceptible to supply chain disruptions.  

According to Digital Commerce 360, 42% of all B2B transactions are still manual for manufacturers and distributors. 

For example, say that you order hundreds of parts to manufacture a particular product. You submit your purchase order (PO) and your supplier responds via email with an order acknowledgement that unfortunately sits in an employee’s inbox for 4 days. Because it’s not reviewed in real time, you fail to discover that 50% of those parts have been backordered for 3 months. If that’s your only supplier of that specific part, you’re in trouble—only you don’t know it yet because you don’t have visibility into your supply chain and, therefore, can’t respond to problems. 

However, if that order acknowledgement had been automated to process immediately, you would have recognized and rectified this issue during that 4-day period, enabling you to better fulfill your obligations to end customers.  

On average, companies can expect supply-chain-disruption losses equal to 42% of one year’s profits over the course of a decade. 

McKinsey & Company  


Eliminate the manual processing of P2P transactions 

To compete and win in the market amid global disruption, businesses must implement and use intelligent technologies to become more resilient against impeding disruptions.  

Manufacturers and distributors who streamline and optimize the P2P process position themselves to better predict and respond to supply chain disruption.  

For a quick win, focus on automating inter-company transactions. Using an intelligent, touchless, document automation platform ensures that vendor documents are processed immediately—and accurately—while also giving companies clear visibility into their supply chain. 

This technology-led capability should use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enable end-to-end transparency across the supply chain and work well with existing solutions that may already be in place, such as robotic process automation (RPA). 

According to Gartner®, by 2024, roughly 50% of supply chain organizations will invest in some form of AI or advanced analytics capabilities.


How the Conexiom Platform optimizes the P2P process 

The Conexiom Platform automates all trade documents, including those related to your supply chain, such as order acknowledgements and advance shipping notices. Conexiom enables businesses to: 

  • Deliver the right goods to the right place, on time and at the right price. 
  • Identify issues in the supply chain and respond before it impacts end customers. 
  • Proactively anticipate supply chain shifts. 
  • Maintain robust supplier networks with frictionless relationships.

By automating your P2P process with Conexiom, your suppliers aren’t forced to change the way they do business with you; you just make business easier, faster, more accurate and scalable. 

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