Smart procurement can dramatically lower the bottom line costs of the entire organisation, but achieving it is challenging

The Source-to-Pay process splits across two functional responsibilities. In many organisations, knowledge of the effectiveness of policy compliance frequently comes long after the purchase is made, giving only a retrospective view. It requires feeds from the accounts payable and expenses systems. It needs careful coding and use of goods categories, up-to-date supplier Master Data Management (MDM), and purchases all linked and checked against quality, contractual terms and discount volumes. The ability to show that your spending is under control and well-managed is critical to the credibility of the board.

Understanding the complex challenges you must face

Poor compliance, complex supplier portfolios and belated visibility of actual spend are just some of the challenges to address. However, really smart procurement is as much about cultural change as it is about improving systems and processes. At its heart is the need to ensure procurement is well-aligned to the internal business unit customers – but also shows the collective impact of better practice.

It is relatively easy to employ technology to simply speed up procurement, using e-catalogues, purchasing cards, portals, e-invoicing and auto-reconciliations, but this does not wholly address the fundamentals of effective procurement.

Organisations typically have strong control on key strategic supplier negotiations, but there is often concern that the negotiated deals are eroded by non-compliant behaviours within the business. In addition to this, contract leakage and limited procurement control on less important – but often high volume – categories can together represent significant margin erosion.

Along with& large numbers of active suppliers, diverse materials and products, lack of transparency, and fragmented IT, the challenge becomes even tougher.

Service Finance and Procurement Maturity Assessment Service Finance and Procurement Maturity Assessment

This image represents three concentric circles listing Sopra Steria's procurement services.

1. Outer circle, starting at "12 o'clock", include

  • Category management.
  • Demand management.
  • Compliance management.
  • e-invoicing.
  • Invoice management.
  • Optimise working capital.
  • Exception handling & automated reconciliation.
  • Tail spend solutions.
  • Punch out.
  • Catalogue management.
  • Business process services P2P.
  • Analytics MIS dashboards.
  • Supplier portal.
  • Spend management.
  • Supplier relationship management.
  • Strategic sourcing.

2. Middle circle:

  • Strategic S2P and tactical S2P.

3. Inner circle:

  • Service desk.
  • Mobile working.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Enhanced lean processing.
  • Change management.

4. Centre:

  • Finance & procurement maturity assessment.

Unravelling the complexity

Sopra Steria can help give you back control by unravelling the complexity. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all approach, yet bringing in good practice and ideas from our experience across many businesses can make the difference.

Our partnership style means we work with you to define and drive the journey, recognising the challenges along the way. We’re able to reach back into extensive Purchase-to-Pay expertise from our F&A operations. And the initial review of the existing procurement operation helps surface issues and opportunities for change, while protecting and optimising existing investment in technology, process and people.

In short, it’s about putting in place the right initiatives at the right time to deliver substantial business benefits.

From sourcing to payment, our Consultancy and BPS services deliver business case-led programmes of work aligned to your at-risk areas of procurement to give you back control, optimise savings, cost avoidance and efficiency.

You can run smarter with Sopra Steria’s procurement services

Related services that can help you transform your business:

Client Success Stories

Enabling the expansion of an innovative telehealth initiative through an expert procurement process
NHS SBS developed a tailored procurement strategy to facilitate the extension of telehealth for NHS Liverpool CCG, including market analysis, developing the service specification, the tender submission process, facilitating communication with suppliers.

Saving the NHS millions – achieving huge economies of scale with innovation and best practice
Initially providing finance and accounting back office processing, NHS SBS now provides award-winning services enabling NHS trusts to focus on strategic decision making, business improvement and reallocate funds to frontline care.