Digitalising your B2B procurement chain is both a necessity and a commitment. Procure-to-Pay holds great promise, but also brings its share of challenges for procurement departments. The community website Procurement Leaders has seized upon the importance of the issue by setting up a task force of high-level procurement decision makers. The site also highlights the importance of developing a roadmap for the procurement function as well as the collaboration between the various stakeholders. This underlines the strategic nature of a P2P project. In this article, you will learn what a P2P project roadmap is and how to design one.
How do you create a P2P project roadmap?
To ensure a successful P2P project roadmap, you first need to be aware of the benefits of implementing this strategic tool.
Why create a roadmap for a P2P project?
A P2P project roadmap is a strategic project management technique that clearly identifies the objectives and key milestones, prioritised over time, in an e-procurement process.
This tool is used both by the marketing team and by other company departments. It is very useful during the various project meetings and can be shared with both employees and customers to provide them with an overview of the method to be applied to achieve the predefined objectives.
How can you define a project roadmap?
The definition of a roadmap for a P2P project is based on a number of elements:
- Identification of the stakes;
- Definition of a digital strategy;
- Prioritisation of actions;
- Assessment of the company’s digital maturity.
The presentation of this type of roadmap incorporates visuals and graphics for improved understanding and easier access to resources.
To make it easier to compare their digital transformation experiences, the experts brought together by Procurement Leaders structured their discussions on P2P around two main types of stakes.
The members of the task force first looked at the automation of the procurement timeline, covering every step of the process from product supplier management to invoice settlement.
They went on to discuss data collection and processing in real time, which helps optimise the entire procurement chain.
By clearly identifying these two focus areas, teams involved in the creation of a P2P roadmap become aware of the value of its implementation and the overall objectives to be achieved.
Define your digital strategy
Through their various projects, the members of the task force have sought to identify the essential elements of a digital transformation project for the procurement function.
The first fundamental element is simply to formalise your digital strategy. Setting the pace and vision via a roadmap is, by all accounts, the best way to lead a project of this scale. A P2P project roadmap guides all staff to ensure that the actions subsequently implemented are effective.
Build on the five priorities identified by The Hackett Group
A recent study by The Hackett Group already provides some guidelines for structuring a project plan:
- Improve analytical power;
- Align team skills with the needs of the business;
- Professionalise supplier relationship management;
- Increase the agility of procurement;
- Strengthen the business focus.
By prioritising actions, the department responsible for designing the roadmap can optimise its effectiveness. This tool, built jointly by the various employees, is thus truly useful and offers a variety of features. It is an opportunity to take stock of the steps taken, but also of the stumbling blocks encountered by teams.
Assess the extent of your digital maturity
The Procurement Leaders task force also addresses the definition of the key steps of a well-thought-out P2P strategy.
In doing so, they have brought to the forefront a previous collective contribution made by procurement: the company’s digital maturity assessment (DMA). Based on the same principle as Manutan’s Savin’side® solution, the DMA assessment template comprises a number of elements organised according to four pillars. The scores obtained provide a map of the company’s digital maturity and make it possible to visualise personalised priorities for action.
A DMA review seems like an excellent starting point for the subsequent drafting of a P2P project roadmap. Two solutions are then possible:
- Develop the four pillars of the DMA (“People & culture”, “Infrastructure & resources”, “Governance & operations” and “Strategic vision”);
- Build a roadmap directly from the current DMA that can help procurement departments accelerate their transformation. The idea of the group members is then, by applying the evaluation to their own departments, to identify bottlenecks and deduce the necessary steps.
Use a tool to design the P2P project roadmap
The selection of a P2P roadmap creation tool depends on a number of factors, including the features offered:
- Roadmap personalisation;
- Integration of other tools used in the Procure-to-Pay project;
- Inclusion of visuals for effectively sharing ideas and feedback in meetings.
Still, the most important point is that a tool for designing and updating a roadmap for a P2P project should save time.
Keep the P2P project roadmap up to date for greater efficiency
It is not only a question of designing a roadmap before launching or optimising a Procure-to-Pay project, it is also important to ensure that it is updated and shared with all employees.
This document is a real commitment. It lists the actions to be taken to increase the efficiency of P2P operations. Therefore, it is essential to update it as regularly as possible and refer to it during meetings attended by the various departments involved in the project.
The Procurement Leaders task force is continuing its reflection in order to give procurement new benchmarks to guide it in the right direction.
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