From Excel to Cloud: How to Digitize Your Procurement-to-Payment Process

Businesses worldwide face a unique challenge when it comes to digital transformation. Although legacy systems provide tried-and-true results, they could actually be dwindling ROI while reducing the productivity and effectiveness of your team. Without the ability or wherewithal to A/B test alternative solutions, businesses oftentimes accept long-standing inefficiencies as part of their core operations.

Deciding to digitalize your procurement-to-payment process begins with a questioning attitude. As a business leader, one of the first questions you may be wondering is likely ‘how can I fit cloud-based solutions into my current business model?’ More often than not, this question is the single point of failure that inhibits businesses from onboarding dramatic digital change. As a result, mediocracy looms freely within organizations.

Fortunately, our team at Listo is here to help. We’ve compiled the following informational article to help interested decision-makers strengthen their procurement processes. After all, automated software can’t begin saving countless profits and personnel-hours without initial integration.

Analysis: The First Step In Procurement Process Digitalization

Depending on your unique industry, the procurement to payment process may be radically different from companies operating in dissimilar sectors. As an example, we’ll explore a typical process utilized by a construction company. By taking a thorough analysis of your current system, you’ll be in a better position to introduce widespread digital change. Here are the typical procurement to payment stages:

  • Needs analysis: construction companies, contractors, architects, and designers alike typically recognize the need for a purchase only after a particular job scope requires additional materials, skillsets, or capabilities.
  • Purchase requisition: next, businesses begin the formal paperwork process to identify supplier details, costs, and purpose.
  • Purchase approval: depending on the size and chain-of-command within the company, approval could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
  • Negotiation: most construction companies enter into negotiations after the initial quote. Long-standing partnerships may be an exception to this rule.
  • Additional quotations: if negotiations do not align with the company decision-maker’s goal, follow-on quotations may be requested from comparable companies or suppliers.
  • Ultimate approval: after the new quotes are received, construction companies usually enter into the initial phases of their procurement process yet again.
  • Payment processing: finally, payment processing in the form of invoices are sent out. Although follow-on record keeping is required, the procurement-to-payment process ends here.

Of note, Listo also provides expedited invoicing automation for companies who are looking to improve 360° of their business operations.

Procurement-to-Payment Software

After a thorough understanding of the procurement process is established, business leaders are in a better position to decide which phases can be automated and improved. Oftentimes, the entire process can be overhauled. Depending on your unique industry, however, this may or may not be possible. In either case, savvy businesses that incorporate software like Listo enjoy immediate process improvements. Before deciding on a software provider, there are a few key considerations that should be taken into account.

For example, how dependent are your current business operations on physical paperwork? If paperwork errors, misplacements, and delays are bottlenecking your business’s opportunity to make progress, automation could help. As an additional consideration, do you operate in one centralized location? If you’re like most construction or contracting companies, your operations likely span a large geographic area. As a result, locating paperwork can present unique challenges. To illustrate this point, here’s an example:

During an initial survey, the assessment team at a local construction company realized that additional machinery would be necessary to lay a structurally sound foundation for the building. Until they received an accurate estimate of the total cost for the new machinery, they were unable to provide a quote for the prospective client. To remedy the situation, the assessment team traveled back to headquarters, began the procurement process, and received approval later that week. In the meantime, the client had been receiving quotes from comparable construction companies. As a result of the time delay, the prospective client decided to choose an alternate company. Coincidentally, this company used automated procurement-to-payment software to quickly establish a quote for the new machinery.

As illustrated by the example above, automation can be the make-or-break between new contracts and failed negotiations. In any business, time is critical. Without fast and efficient processes, businesses are liable to miss out on exceptional opportunities.

Final Integration

After procurement-to-payment software has been implemented within a company, training begins. Overcoming initial resistance is key to the successful integration of new digital processes and systems. In many cases, long-standing employees and key personnel object to change. Therein lies an opportunity for growth. By presenting the objective benefits of new software, teams can establish a better understanding of how it can help them during day-to-day operations. Of note, hands-on training is paramount. Without teaching your team the intricacies of the new processing software, you run the risk of regression back to your legacy systems. Your business would then miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the significant ROI benefits that accompany digital transformation. An effective training program will contain the following key elements:

  • Introductory benefits: by explaining the software’s capabilities early on, you can mitigate initial resistance.
  • Non-obtrusive training: effective training programs are careful to not disrupt core operations. In doing so, they avoid long-standing negative connotations.
  • Feedback reports: without consistent feedback, processes face stagnation. By encouraging team members to provide their thoughts, you improve overall effectiveness while increasing team buy-in.
  • Follow-on training: proper implementation doesn’t stop after a few weeks of integration. Although company culture plays an important role in your training program, encouraging a ‘life-long learning’ mentality will increase the long-term effectiveness of your procurement-to-payment automation.

Closing Remarks

Listo provides next-generation solutions that take businesses from Excel to the Cloud. By innovating the procurement-to-payment process with high-caliber computing power, Listo streamlines business payment solutions while maintaining unparalleled timeliness of operations. Additionally, Listo saves critical personnel hours that can be wasted by inefficient processes.

Throughout the entire decision-chain of procurement processing, Listo can help. In turn, businesses are able to allocate more time to their core operations as opposed to administrative burdens. Furthermore, Listo can help save money on quotes by introducing new efficiencies that quickly garner more bids from reputable suppliers, vendors, and subcontractors alike.

Are you looking to participate in the digital revolution? Even if your industry isn’t known for adopting disruptive tech, you could gain a considerable edge by becoming an early adopter. Curious? Consider signing up! With our risk free 30-day trial, you can always return to your legacy system if you aren’t completely satisfied. Based on our client-retention and referral rate, we’re confident that Listo can provide your unique business with a viable procurement-to-payment solution that drives ROI.

We hope you gained valuable insight from our article! If so, sharing it on social media is an excellent way to spread the word. No matter where you find yourself within the digital revolution, your procurement to payment system is an excellent place to begin.

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to serving you!

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