Prioritising Customer Success Through Your Source-to-Pay Solution

Prioritising Customer Success Through Your Source-to-Pay Solution

Prioritising Customer Success Through Your Source-to-Pay Solution

Source-to-pay is an essential function within organisations, crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and ensuring customer success. The commitment to enhancing this process has been evident in the industry, with companies like SAP leveraging their Ariba Procurement solutions to meet evolving needs. By focusing on customer feedback, market trends, and innovative technology, the industry ensures businesses are equipped to achieve optimal results.

The approach to source-to-pay solutions has been refined over the years, with a focus on delivering value and efficiency to customers. The industry’s expertise, developed through years of experience and innovation, has led to significant advancements in procurement processes. The introduction of solutions such as SAP Ariba over two decades ago marked a turning point, showcasing the potential for technology to revolutionise procurement.

The industry acknowledges the varied requirements across different sectors and geographies, emphasising the importance of selecting a source-to-pay solution that offers a comprehensive platform and ecosystem. Such solutions must empower procurement teams with the tools and data necessary for their increasingly strategic roles.

Feedback from businesses has underscored the importance of having a holistic view of spend across all categories, leveraging intelligent analytics for category management, robust contract management capabilities, efficient management of external labour and services, and the application of practical AI to streamline procurement processes.

Integrated source-to-pay solutions in the industry aim to address these needs, offering a suite of functionalities that include sourcing, category management, purchasing, invoicing, services procurement, supplier relationship management, contract management, and spend analytics. The connectivity provided by business networks enhances these solutions, enabling companies to engage with a global supplier base and further streamline procurement processes.

As businesses navigate the source-to-pay landscape, staying informed about the latest developments and trends is crucial. The right solution should not only address current needs but also align with the future direction of the business. The industry’s broad range of solutions and global partner ecosystems ensures that businesses can meet their diverse needs, supported by networks that facilitate global trade and connectivity.

Five Strategies for Meeting Strategic Customer Needs in Procurement

The ability to adapt to product modernisation, embrace innovation, and align with a broader vision for enhancing procurement capabilities within SAP S/4HANA has been evident in the delivery of groundbreaking innovations. Here are the ways these critical customer needs are being addressed:

Visibility and Analysis of Spend Across All Categories

A common priority among global customers is the demand for comprehensive visibility and analytical capabilities across all spending categories, particularly those affecting sustainability objectives.

Advanced solutions like Spend Control Tower, incorporate AI technology to provide a panoramic view of expenditures within cloud ERP solutions, including those similar to SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass. The integration of data from solutions similar to SAP Concur, business networks, and even external systems is in planning, aiming to offer businesses insights to identify cost-saving prospects and enhance processes.

Intelligence-Driven Category Management

In research conducted by Economist Impact in 2022 and 2023, category management emerged as a leading catalyst for digital transformation in procurement. Motivated by these findings and comprehensive market studies, a new Category Management solution was launched last summer by SAP, designed to enhance performance in this essential segment.

This tool facilitates the formulation, implementation, and oversight of category strategies on a broad scale. It also allows organisations to refine their source-to-settle workflows by integrating analytics that leverage spending data and market insights.

Enhanced Contract Management Capabilities

In the source-to-pay cycle, balancing risk and profitability is paramount. Recognising this, top technology firms, including SAP, have strategically enhanced their contract management capabilities. These advanced solutions deliver a suite of cutting-edge functionalities, from smart contract drafting and AI-driven risk identification to comprehensive obligation monitoring and data-driven decision support.

What sets these solutions apart is their ability to consolidate contract management for both sales and procurement within a single, integrated system—a unique feature that distinguishes them from other offerings in the source-to-pay arena. This holistic approach not only streamlines processes but also significantly improves efficiency and oversight across organisational procurement and sales activities.

Optimising Services Procurement with Automation

The importance of managing services procurement, often underemphasised in source-to-pay conversations, is gaining recognition. According to a 2023 report by Future of Work Exchange, a significant 72% of enterprises aim to enhance their focus on return on investment (ROI) in services procurement and management of statement-of-work activities. The objective is to strategically oversee external labour and services, applying the same level of procedural diligence as seen in other procurement categories.

Through SAP Fieldglass solutions, organisations have the opportunity to revolutionise their approach to sourcing, engaging, and overseeing contingent workforce and service providers, thereby amplifying the overall business value.

Integrating AI into Spend Management Practices

The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into spend management practices is being strategically executed to minimise repetitive tasks and enhance strategic operations. The utilisation of AI extends from providing autocomplete features and recommendation systems, which rely on traditional AI and machine learning, to deploying advanced generative AI technologies that simplify complex procurement activities. In the upcoming year, the expansion of SAP Business AI use cases is anticipated, to enhance efficiency within the spectrum of spend management processes.

We harness the power of SAP Ariba’s comprehensive 360 model to bring unparalleled optimisation to supply chain solutions. By tapping into an extensive and robust supplier network, enriched with top-tier tools, expertise, and insights, businesses are empowered to secure sourcing agreements of the highest value.

With over 6.7 million companies connected through SAP’s strategic sourcing solutions, digitising and integrating your source-to-pay processes with SAP Ariba not only enhances operational efficiency but also equips your business with the intelligence and visibility needed to navigate supplier risks and bolster long-term resilience against disruptions in the supply chain.

If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our experts.