Five Tips for Implementing Purchase-to-Pay, and T&E Technology
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Companies implementing P2P and Expense technology often encounter similar challenges and risks. Ironically, the biggest challenges don't relate to the tech itself; elements like great project management, simple integrations, and streamlined workflows will help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls and ensure the overall success of the engagement.
1 - Assess the IT Integration landscape early. ERPs, spend management platforms, and other 3rd party cloud apps are all examples of tech with which Supplier Information, Contract Lifecycle, P2P, and T&E solutions are likely to interface with. Understanding, simplifying, and guiding you through the best-practice integration architecture is what you should be aiming to do with your System Integrator. This will ensure you avoid headaches and fire drills down the road.
2 - Use an experienced Project Manager to lead the initiative. Project Management seems as simple as executing a tactical plan step by step. For large scale implementations, managing the desires and expectations of numerous departments, and confirming stakeholder alignment should be at the forefront. Allowing voices to be heard, managing expectations, and ensuring a RAID (Risks, Action Items, Issues, Decisions) Log is maintained is going to vastly improve client satisfaction and success.
3 - Test and Validate. Testing should be an ongoing, iterative process. Short demos for example, even in the early phases of the project provide the opportunity for quick wins and alignment with the client SMEs. A testing team should be in place to confirm functional requirements are meeting business requirements. The Test Lead should also ensure Unit Testing, System Integration Testing, and User Acceptance Testing are appropriately scripted, executed, and documented. The team should also have a process in place for break/fix and identification/prioritization of issues that are communicated to the PM. This will result in End to End testing success prior to the Move to Production.
4 - Keep it Simple. Be wary of overcomplicating solution configuration with unnecessary customization. A common pitfall of tech implementation is to want to get started and figure it out later. Proper preparation is critical, especially when it comes to flowing out and documenting the Go Live state. Automating a flawed business process with unnecessary complexities could create as many problems as it solves. Organizations should map out the entire business process, asking questions to challenge the current state along the way like "Is this really necessary?" and "Can this be simplified?" Create process flows/maps to streamline the simplification process and make your implementation more efficient.
5 - Make sure you have good data. Cleansing your data prior to implementation is going to help ensure you have a clean implementation, allowing the technology to be as effective and efficient as it was meant to be. Having a clear strategy on ensuring accuracy of both master data, and transactional data (for example minimizing in-flight transaction migration) will help reduce production support issues immediately after go live and down the road. Let open/pending transactions live their life out in the legacy system when possible.