The P2P specialist:
Master of all trades?
In this blog, Sanne van Eijsden, Director Professional Services at Spendlinq, reflects on how organisations are trying to attract and retain this scarce profile. And more importantly: is it actually necessary?
‘P2P Process Owner’, ‘P2P Process Coordinator’, ‘P2P Excellence Officer’. Organisations are increasingly trying to fill vacancies for senior profiles within the Purchase to Pay domain. Preferably with 8+ years’ experience in both P2P projects and project management, as well as affinity with processes, systems and technology. Of course, it’s great to see that P2P is high on organisations’ agenda and that they see the opportunities and benefits of a well-organised P2P process. But how can you find the right expertise to actually make it a success? In this blog, Sanne van Eijsden, Director Professional Services at Spendlinq, reflects on how organisations are trying to attract and retain this scarce profile. And more importantly: is it actually necessary?
“What all these organisations have in common is that they subscribe to the importance of a well-organised P2P process,” says Sanne. “Some have only just started their journey and still need to define the issues they’re trying to solve and their strategy. Others are already well on their way and have recently implemented a P2P solution, but don’t know how to take the next steps. For us as ‘P2P nerds’, it’s fantastic to see that more and more organisations are embarking on the P2P journey. We know what it can do. And with P2P now firmly on the map, the opportunities are tremendous. But how can these organisations bring in the right expertise to make it successful in the long run?”
“Although many organisations start their search for an in-house P2P specialist, the question is whether it’s actually such a good idea to have someone with the DNA of a consultant on the payroll,” says Sanne. “People with this profile don’t often commit to an organisation for the long term. And what’s more, we’re all fishing in the same, very small, pond. It therefore won’t be easy for these organisations to attract and retain this scarce talent. And if they do, there are quite a few risks. It then begs the question whether such an in-house position is actually the best solution to the problem.”
“Obviously, it’s important to embed P2P in the organisation in a structural way,” Sanne continues. “The process has an effect on a huge number of functions within the organisation and will therefore need to be widely supported. It therefore makes sense to appoint and train one or more P2P Officers. These people know the organisation well, are familiar with the internal processes and are generally well respected. So when you start implementing P2P, look for talent within your own ranks, get these people involved and train them during the process.”
“After implementing new tooling and related processes, the organisation moves into the execution phase,” explains Sanne. “Besides the actual deployment of the system, you need to think about managing the application and maintaining relevant content, as well as monitoring and continuously improving the processes. We see that if organisations pay too little attention to maintaining content and monitoring processes in this phase, they usually fail to get the maximum result out of their P2P solution. And that’s a shame. Here’s where the P2P Officers of successful organisations come in. They identify opportunities and problems and initiate actions to address them. If necessary, they call in an external specialist, such as for the technical onboarding of new suppliers, or for setting up new procurement flows. But you can also outsource functional management activities. For example, if it’s difficult to carry out management yourself due to capacity issues, it’s a good idea to bring in the right specialists who know the ropes. Sometimes outsourcing is simply the best option.”
The right expertise, at the right time
“Purchase to Pay projects are initiatives where the stakes are high and momentum is crucial for success,” says Sanne. “That’s why we believe it’s important to make use of the right expertise at the right time. To solve more complex P2P issues, you need external experts who come with valuable domain expertise, best practices and extensive experience. They will be able to help organisations set up their P2P processes quickly and efficiently, embedding P2P in the IT landscape as well as setting up an effective support organisation. This is one of the reasons we started Spendlinq. There are so many opportunities for organisations to make better use of the technology available. We have the domain expertise combined with knowledge of the best technology on the market to help them do so. You need expertise, we have the experts.”
“If you’re only just setting out on your digital transformation journey, you can also benefit from our support. Our experts have decades of experience in software selection, IT architecture assessment and change management, and they know exactly how to avoid pitfalls, what works best, and how to keep up the momentum. Again, it’s a question of making sure you have access to the right expertise at the right time.”
“We’re convinced that with our unique full-service approach, we can take organisations an important step further on their way to a successful and sustainable digital transformation,” concludes Sanne. “Of course, there’s a lot more we could tell you about this. Just get in touch, and we’ll be happy to set up a meeting.”
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