What do Source-to-Pay Consultants Do?February 23, 2022
Oh, the world of consulting. In this day and age, you can get a consultant to help you with just about anything. Some consultants just help with throwing corporate events while others help with more integral things within your business, like how SAP Ariba consultants help with your S2P process.
Every consultant is going to end up costing your business money,source to pay consultants so you’re going to want to know exactly what they do before you decide if you want to hire them to help your company. This isn’t Minecraft on creative mode, it’s real life and resources are limited.
Every expense that your company has is more than likely calculated as an investment in hopes that it can provide some sort of return for the money that you put into it. Even if something your company spends money on doesn’t make money back, it still has to come from somewhere.
So, let’s take a look at what these kinds of consultants do so you can decide for yourself if they’ll be a valuable asset to your company or just another drain of your resources that will leave you wishing that you hadn’t bothered with it in the first place.
What is Source-To-Pay?
Before we talk about what these consultants do we have to take a look at the processes that they claim to be able to assist with. Without knowing exactly what source-to-pay is, it would be impossible to describe what S2P consultants do when they help your company.
Source-to-pay is the process of, essentially, getting goods from supplies. The process starts with contacting the supplier and ends when the payment is received. Let’s break it down into its most important steps so we can better explain the entire process:
- Find a supplier
- Get approval from your company.
- Negotiate/Place order
- Figure out shipping
- Receive the goods
- Paying the supplie
This process can be looped indefinitely, and lots of people would put the steps differently. There’s a good chance that if you know the process you probably learned about it a different way than we did. Many people explain this process in different ways.
The most important thing to note that is pretty universal no matter where you learned is the two big parts of this process:
- Source to contract
- Procure to pay
Those two big phases of the S2P process are pretty universally talked about when you talk about S2P. Source to contract is the part of the process where you contact, contract, and negotiate from the supplier while procure to pay is the part of the process where you place your orders and make payments.
This process is pretty universally used among businesses. Without using this process, the vast majority of businesses wouldn’t be able to operate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer or a service provider, you need to get things from other companies.
If there’s a process involved in something, naturally you’re going to have people that specialize in it and are able to provide consulting services. Whether it’s marketing or source-to-pay, if there’s money to be made and help to be given, someone will be there with advice and an invoice.
The Job of an S2P Consultant
Now that we understand the S2P process, let’s get into exactly what the consultants of this field do. If your company has already been shopping around for this type of consultant, you’ve probably heard all sorts of pitches already, but if that was the case you probably wouldn’t be here reading the article.
That is, of course, unless you wanted to make sure that S2P consultants actually do what they claim to do. If that were the case you’d have very good reasons to be here just double-checking what they said. So, what exactly are you getting when you hire an S2P consultant?
Well, they help with the S2P process. Of course, every consultant has a different style and different services so it is still smart to shop around to get a consultant that works best for your company. Your needs would be different than the needs of the shop next door, so you might need two different consultants.
Some consultants just come in and look at the processes that you already have in place and try to help you find ways to optimize them at any point. Maybe they’ll suggest someone else handle orders, maybe they’ll point you in the right direction to have an easier time finding solid suppliers, etc.
There are other consultants that will be able to handle this process for you and help you train the person in your company that takes care of this kind of thing. These consultants are usually a lot more expensive than the other kind just because of the amount of labor that they do in your company.
So, whether you need someone to act as an auditor to find and fix any inefficiencies they find in your S2P process or you need someone to help you get it going properly from the ground up, you can usually find a consultant that’s willing to be contracted or hired to help with this task.
You can also hire S2P consulting firms that can help you out with this process. That would mean that you have a whole team working together to help optimize your entire S2P process from start to finish, and that can have some pretty impressive results.
Whether you decide to contract a firm or just an individual, there are some seriously talented consultants out there that know just how to make a business’s S2P process run as smoothly as butter so you can spend more time doing the things that matter most in your business.
Depending on your industry you might get different types of recommendations for this to work. There are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of supplies all across the country and the world, which means that optimizing your S2P process could require a variety of strategies to make happen.
Could a Software Help?
For all intents and purposes, we’re living in the future. You can buy a robot to vacuum your house for you automatically, order pizza without having to talk to anyone, and get a piece of software to automate a lot of different processes, or at least make them a lot easier.
So, why would or wouldn’t a piece of S2P software help your company? Well, it’s a little complicated but it can actually help. This type of software is actually already used by a good deal of the industry for a number of reasons:
- Have all of the programs you use in one place.
- Use different pieces of software synergistically to help you achieve your goals.
- Spend less time jumping from platform to platform to achieve a single goal.
- Save money on labor because they have to spend less time doing S2P, even just by a little.
Lots of companies use this kind of software for those reasons and more. Your company could even potentially benefit from this kind of software if you haven’t already implemented it in your company, but there is a little catch here.
Software is just software. It does what you tell it to do. If you already have a solid S2P process for your company, that’s great. The program will echo that and will make things run even more smoothly, making your life a whole lot easier when you’re trying to take care of S2P related tasks.
On the other hand, if your company doesn’t already have a solid S2P process, it will help make things a little better but all it would be doing is treating a symptom rather than the root causes of the inefficiencies that you’re experiencing throughout this process.
With that in mind, you can definitely get a piece of S2P software to help your company, and you’ll at the very least see minimal results, but a broken system is a broken system even if you get some nice software to help along with it.
Most people would still recommend hiring a consultant if your company is experiencing issues throughout its S2P process. Many of them will more than likely end up recommending an S2P software for your company to use anyway.
Their expertise is really what helps make sure that the whole process from beginning to end is working as well as it possibly can, which means that if you do get some software you’ll be happy to know that everything is running optimally and without issue.
Getting Your Processes Down to a Science
There is nothing simple about running a business. Every day there’s something that needs to be taken care of, and it needs to be taken care of in such a way that it won’t impact the company negatively.
There are a lot of ways that you can go about this, whether that’s doing a lot of research yourself or hiring someone who already has expertise on the subject. No matter which route you decide to go, you can definitely make sure that your company is running as efficiently as possible on a daily basis.