Effective implementation of Source to Pay technology requires strong project management, efficient design of a Procurement Target Operating Model, selecting the right system and implementation partner, but also integration expertise and thoughtful change management. This is just a small bucket of important areas that need to be covered.
Even so, to maximise the benefits of a Source to Pay integration, companies should dedicate resources to implementing best practices that will enable them to achieve important steps forward in their journey to digital procurement transformation.
Xoomworks Procurement specialists identified some best practices that allow S2P implementations to be the transformational change agent that many companies are looking for.
S2P implementations typically involve several different systems which need to communicate with each other. The Integration phase of the project is the process of deciding which systems need to be involved, what data needs to pass between them, and developing and testing these interfaces.
Define the Approach
Based on more than 600 Source to Pay implementations, we recommend companies to treat the integration stage of the project as a sub-project of the main implementation. Adequate preparation will ensure that the scope, timelines, and costs are clearly understood up front. The integration plan should be aligned with the design, build and testing phases of the overall project.
Selecting the Right Technology
Depending on your current IT landscape, additional technology may be required. Your business processes and requirements documentation will define what you want to achieve but selecting the correct integration technology is critical to delivering it. To select the right technology, the best practice is to run an RFP.
Integration is all about data – what data is needed from source systems, where does it needs to go, and what, if any, transformations need to be made to that data. Understanding these flows is fundamental to the design of integrations and there are some guidelines to follow to ensure your integration design satisfies your requirements but is not over-complex.
In the past integration, options were more flexible, as on-premise systems tended to be highly customisable. As solutions moved to the cloud the scope for design decisions became more limited. Therefore, it is now possible to overlap the integration design and build phases with the S2P phases.
Integration testing follows the same template as functional testing but owing to the complexities involved, and the consequences of inadequate testing of this part of the solution, some more discipline and rigour are required. Read more about the minimum recommendations concerning the testing part here.
It is important for integration design to anticipate possible errors and ways in which these can be handled. An efficient error handling process will reduce the time taken to identify and fix errors and improve the integrity of the data in your systems.
Integration is complex, so do not underestimate the effort involved or the risks of getting it wrong. Start preparation at the very beginning of the project, identify the right people to be involved and form them into an effective team.
Download our eBook to discover some principles to concentrate on to ensure your project is not let down by poor integration.
This eBook is the eighth chapter of “The Ultimate Guide on Source to Pay Implementation”. The guide is a 12-part series developed by Xoomworks Procurement experts to help companies on their procurement transformation journey. Click here to view our 12-part guide.