The ultimate source to pay (S2P) process guide for 2023

source to pay (S2P) process
blog dateDec 15, 2022 | 7 min read | views 89

Procurement in any business has a direct influence on the overall savings. A streamlined procurement procedure makes it feasible to buy high-quality products at affordable prices. The procurement source-to-pay process includes steps including vendor evaluation, contracting, supplier identification, and payment for products provided. 

What is Source to pay?

The source to pay process (S2P) comprises of all the procurement tasks that involve the vendor and the organization. The initial phase in the source-to-pay process is choosing the best supplier, and the final step is paying the provider. The entire sourcing and procurement process for identifying, assessing, and negotiating with suppliers of goods or services, finalizing contracts with vendor payment, is another way to define the source to pay concept.

The source-to-pay process involves tactical procurement tasks like spending assessment, purchasing, contract management, and supplier management as well as concluding tasks like purchase order processing, electronic procurement, accounts payable, invoice automation, and payment processes.

When is a source-to-pay system used by a company?

A source-to-pay system might be helpful for organizations that need to evaluate new vendors who offer better purchasing terms, lower costs, or new commodities that are not supplied by existing vendors.

What are the advantages of a source-to-pay system for your business?

The benefits of a source-to-pay system are:

  1. Centralizes the whole supply chain to increase the efficiency of procurement

  2. Creates a single sourcing platform that combines key procurement processes

  3. Promotes adherence to regulations, contracts, and procedures

  4. Aids in improving the consistency and accuracy of business forecasting

  5. Facilitates accurate expenditure analysis

  6. Collaboration between suppliers and businesses is improved

  7. Assesses supplier performance against standards and benchmarks such as pricing, deliveries, invoicing cycle time and other crucial performance indicators.

A streamlined source-to-pay procedure improves spending and procurement visibility. Source to Pay combines purchases across business units rather than treating procurement as a collection of unrelated jobs in order to boost performance, create business value, and enhance expenditure analysis.

Standard Source to Pay process flow

source to pay processs

Source-to-pay process can be laborious and time-consuming without a sound plan. The source-to-pay life cycle includes the processes listed below:

1) Discovering Suppliers:

Finding potential suppliers is the first phase in the S2P lifecycle. Researching the market extensively is necessary to select the ideal supplier. The sourcing team members will send out the RFIs (requests for information), RFPs (requests for proposals), and probably RFQs (requests for quotes) to prospective vendors. Some businesses utilise templates to quickly collect vendor information. E-auctions are a commonly used strategy that sourcing teams use to find the greatest prices on products and raw materials. E-auctioning is a more efficient way to find reputable and cost-effective vendors.

2) Evaluation and Screening of Vendors:

The RFX vendor data and the e-auction results aid the sourcing team in screening the vendors to identify good matches. Finding the right balance between product affordability and making a profit is the key to effective sourcing. For the business to turn a profit, the raw materials must be affordable. Suppliers are assessed based on their pricing, minimum order quantities, delivery timeframes, and other criteria in addition to their quality. Negotiations happens once the sourcing team selects the ideal buyer.

3) Contracting and Negotiating:

The sourcing team may choose to work with only two or three vendors after analysing the vendor information from multiple vendors. The goal of the contracting and negotiation process is to select the best provider. Businesses are constantly looking for methods to keep production costs low throughout the supply chain, and the ideal place to do so is during the sourcing stage. Purchasing costs for goods can be significantly reduced when larger quantities are sourced. Contracts must be issued after a specific price and order volume evaluation.

4) Purchase Order:

According to the agreed upon cost and quantity of the items, the purchase order is issued. The purchase order becomes a legal document once the vendor accepts it. It includes every clause of the agreement between the business and the vendor.

5) Products Delivery and Payment:

This completes the source-to-pay procedure. To guarantee that the received items are in accordance with the purchase order, the information in the goods received note is compared to that in the PO. At this point, the quality of the received goods is also examined. Payment to the seller is processed once the verification is finished. As per the business requirements, a shipping and payment process is set up to make sure verification and on-time payment and delivery. The timely delivery of raw materials and the continuity of production operations are ensured by adhering to a delivery and payment schedule.

The complete source-to-pay process can be efficiently automated with cloud procurement software, which saves time as well as effort. An extensive range of functions is provided by a source-to-pay software throughout the procurement cycle.

Automating the Source to Pay Cycle

Nearly half of the source-to-pay process might be efficiently automated using current technologies. By removing duplication and redundancy, the numerous source-to-pay products on the market are intended to streamline the source-to-pay process. The S2P solutions contribute to higher savings, lower prices, and more chances to investigate new value-add sources. As per the McKinsey reports, digitizing the source-to-pay process can decrease spending by almost 3.5%. The scope for automating the complete source-to-pay procedure is about 56% of the tasks in the workflow.

The more transactional aspects of the S2P process, especially the placing and receiving of orders, were determined to have the greatest potential for automation. Around 88% of the tasks can be digitized and about 93% of the activities in payment processing. Additionally, 47% of the supplier selection workflow and negotiation activities can be automated.

An important business decision is selecting the appropriate automation technologies for the source-to-contract process flow.

The first and most crucial step for businesses is to decide which processes of the procurement process can be completely automated. For each task in the source-to-pay process, it is important to determine the level of automation that is currently in place and to correlate it to what is technically feasible. The team can calculate the benefit of bridging this gap. The analysis is based on changes in compliance, cycle durations, and payment conditions at each step, as well as the number of tasks that can be automated. Businesses that are considering automation should make careful and targeted decisions on using the right technology for digitising the S2P workflow because the digital world is always changing.

 

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