Procure to Pay in B2B: Building a System of Synergies

On the supply side of any business, the procure-to-pay (P2P) process includes all activities related to procurement through financial settlement of goods and services with suppliers. In parallel, business-to-business (B2B) supplier integration/collaboration involves the operational activities related to supple management and control of these goods and services. As one might expect, supplier integration/collaboration initiatives have a tremendous impact on the speed and degree of automation required for supply transactions across the enterprise. In this report, we review the points of intersection between the P2P and B2B processes. We’ll also discuss the synergies between the two, and examine how they are being leveraged now and in the future. For most companies, the main point here is that the infrastructure is just not there to support the desired levels of speed and responsiveness, as we will see in more detail throughout this report. Specifically, disparate legacy systems and customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) installations have left most companies with a semi-integrated solution environment — a politically correct statement for a mess, and one that they’re already straining to keep up with. The increasing number of transactions also exacerbates the situation, while regulatory and compliance requirements compound the reporting demands.
These pressures drive efforts to integrate and automate across the board, particularly for transaction-intensive processes such as procure-to-pay. Without some support and attention, the pressure will only get worse.