JAGGAER has released the recording of its recently held webinar “Elevating your source-to-pay tech strategy in 2023.”
The webinar featured Jason Busch, founder and CEO of Spend Matters, and Jennifer Glassman, a procurement and payables consultant with extensive experience in designing procurement strategies in public universities. In their initial back and forth and in the participant questions that followed, Jason and Jennifer covered the failings of traditional approaches to ERP, the new strategies that better ensure the successful integration of new technologies into preexisting systems and the transformative value such integrations can deliver.
If you would like to watch or listen to the webinar, please find the recording here.
Source-to-pay is not an island
The webinar began with Jason laying out the major changes that have occurred in the source-to-pay (S2P) landscape, namely the systemic nature of the solutions.
“Increasingly,” he noted, “whether it’s direct procurement or broader procurement, no one area is a singular island. It must work together with the rest.”
S2P, risk and the general ERP system — to list just a few examples — all massively overlap, which means that selecting the right tech is no longer a simple matter of finding the right tool for the job. These days, tech selection is about the transformational impact technology has on procurement.
The broader ramifications of choosing one solution over another mean a certain level of organizational harmony is required before making your selection. This interpersonal aspect of procurement took center stage when Jason opened the discussion by asking Jennifer how procurement should manage stakeholders and think about managing up. Her answer was threefold:
- The most important stakeholders are those immediately above you in the chain of command. You need to understand their thoughts, wants and personalities.
- Then, there is the implementation partner who uses their expertise to translate the executive’s strong but not necessarily specific visions into high-level strategic decisions.
- The third important relationship is the one between procurement and the project management office which is tasked with the overall success of the project.
“That’s your new work family at that point,” she explained. “There’s a lot of personalities. There’s a lot of tension. So, understanding that matrix of personalities and perspectives and aggressively building out those relationships is really important early on AND in every stage of that effort.”
This year, it’s time-to-value
After that exchange, the conversation turned to an open Q&A with the webinar’s attendees.
Half the questions inquired into the University of Virginia’s (UVA) implementation of Workday, the full rollout of which occurred during Jennifer’s tenure there as the Director of Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services. One question asked about the key functionality gaps that pushed UVA to supplement Workday with complementary P2P technology. Jennifer pointed to the need for pauses during the busyness of finding integrations. If you do not stop for a moment to collect yourself, you will not understand what is actually important to your organization. More importantly, as she pointed out, you overlook things: “What’s not being talked about because it’s not glamorous? There are features that are small but become important when strung collectively.”
The other major theme of the audience questions was about what technology procurement needs to concern itself with. First, ERP providers claim that since they cover the entire source-to-pay field, there is no need for additional solutions. Jason countered that you need to look at demonstrated capabilities, not opinions.
“Show me you have it,” he said. “Show me it works with a plan. And don’t delay. This year, it’s time-to-value. Whether it’s ERP or best-of-breed, make sure you are able to get the results quickly and show the value.” Sometimes an ERP may be a great fit for your system. Sometimes it might not be. What you need to search for, though, is the capabilities you need to buy at that specific time.
Jennifer added that the question sounds like an early sales pitch, which will prove particularly alluring for top execs, HR and Finance as they are just starting on their cloud transformation that Procurement has already made. Procurement should keep this difference in perspective in mind. “There’s a lot of positive forward momentum to commit to an ERP cloud migration,” she said, “and early on in that process, I think it’s important for procurement leadership not to come in bursting any bubbles. That’s not the way to move forward.”
As the webinar came to an end, Jason left some closing remarks. Looking ahead, he reiterated the need for immediate action in procurement. “Carpe diem. Think short-term impact this year; prove it, and you’ll get more budget in the future.” That is easier said than done. To flesh that bone, you need to experience the webinar.
To watch or listen to the entire webinar, register here: Elevating your source-to-pay tech strategy in 2023