First of all, integration can no longer be a peripheral factor. Companies need to look out for an integrated procurement solution. It it is vital for an efficient and top-performing procurement function. Procurement’s rising stature and increased docket of responsibilities mean that it cannot function in silos, and needs seamless integration and interfacing with most systems.
“46% of the procurement leaders believe lack of data integration is the most important barrier for the effective application of digital technology in procurement.” The Deloitte Global CPO Survey, 2018
Based on the above statement, integration should be a core component of the Procurement strategies.
A Spend Matters Research states that the increasing demand for integrated procurement solution is indicative of the following business needs. They are-
First of all, in today’s environment that is continuously in a state of flux, procurement systems should be able to integrate with newer tools and to change the business environment’s quickly
Indeed, today, companies value and strive for greater control, to increase factors like spend under management and compliance. Hence, the system should have the capacity to influence and control spending decision
It is extremely vital to have complete visibility into all spending activities and decisions taken. Greater visibility for business means they will be able to better anticipate cash flow and working capital requirements
In addition to the above, the data and intelligence an integrated procurement tool can provide can be used for budgetary forecasting, building, and analyzing various scenarios.
Now, with a vast range of procurement solution providers and varied offerings that are available to choose from, the discussion mostly boils down to “Should we go for a unified procurement solution with comprehensive and integrated Source-to-Pay tools or a standalone tool for each of our requirements?”
Organizations today comprise of various departments and branches that are spread across the globe. Hence it becomes very important to be able to access accurate data about sourcing, contracts, and their terms, supplier information, etc. A unified procurement software.
An integrated Source-To-Pay system allows the user to access any information on a single system without having to go through or log in to various applications. An integrated system serves as a single source of all information, which makes it easy and less time consuming than navigating through multiple systems.
Finally, standalone solutions may seem to be a cost-effective option; it isn’t always so. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in such cases is much higher; this includes the separate training, implementation, and maintenance required for each standalone module.
In addition to the above, the major drawback of having standalone tools is ensuring systems communicate and exchange data seamlessly. In case of aanintegrated procurement solution, the various modules are inherently programmed for end-to-end communication and smooth flow of data across systems.