A day challenging procurement to change, using Prometheus P2P for SAP users – a successful event for all!

Wow! We have received some amazing feedback from our Invenio’s P2P Solutions P2P event for SAP Users, thank you to our team of experts for providing such an informative programme. We held the 2nd of our Invenio in-person events for 2014 on 22 May at Churchill War Rooms, London.

Churchill War Rooms – ‘London’s Secret Underground’ were the headquarters for The British Government throughout the Second World War. The Invenio team and guests spent a morning here, there was nothing ‘underground’ about our discussions, and we were there to challenge procurement to change.

vintage_let_us_go_forward_together_poster-rd4f531c85df84c06824883171c5538f9_fz2f_8byvr_5121I arrived around 8am, to set up for our guests – outside was bright and there was a real buzz around Westminster, it was a warm early summers day and as I walked in the entrance to the War Rooms I couldn’t help feel positive and excited about the morning ahead. I stepped into the cabinet room allocated and the first thing I spotted was a poster of Winston Churchill with the quote “Let us go forward together” – a sign that we were set to have a wonderful day.

The day began with an informal introduction from Partho Bhattacharya, Managing Director of Invenio who explained that Invenio’s P2P Solutions was initially developed for Universal Music. Designed to provide savings in Procurement, Universal have been courageous in their approach to changing processes and systems and in not following others in what they are doing. They are leading the way in ‘supplier focused’ procurement and reducing the admin load from 80% to 20%.

Kedar Patwardhan – Invenio

Kedar Patwardhan, Account Director at Invenio was our first speaker of the day; he focused on 5 key aspects of the Invenio’s P2P Solutions solution. Kedar gave the delegates an insight into the reason why SAP users have avoided a new procurement solution and how Invenio’s P2P Solutions can overcome these.

  1. It’s too much work – Vendor self-service, moving the admin load to the suppliers.
  2. I hate these SAP screens – User friendly and mobile application with minimum data entry fields and clicks.
  3. Can I spend the money I don’t have? – No, it is tightly integrated with the budgeting process, it can stop commitment and invoice posting if there is no approved budget.
  4. But I didn’t approve this – Easy to understand and easy to manage workflows with set approval levels and audit trails are in place, so that no document can be posted without prior approval.
  5. Am I choosing the right solution? – Significantly cheaper than other solutions and fully integrated into your existing SAP solution.

There are several P2P solutions on the market, but without a financial background, these still require integration and a management of systems. Invenio’s P2P Solutions is one database, with no lag, no inaccuracy in reporting and is tied to the SAP systems you already use.

Customer presentation from: Universal Music

Universal Music, came to present the reasons why they worked with Invenio to develop a P2P system that really worked for their organisation and the benefits they have achieved since moving to Invenio’s P2P Solutions. They began by explaining the way in which the business has grown to the large organisation it now is through acquisition. This has raised a number of issues in the business with regards to ECC systems and harmonisation, all of which have needed to be resolved and a procurement solution needed to be seamless with this – And not another system!

Universal Music are a unique organisation, around 85% of the company individuals are ‘creative’, these are talent scouts, the artists themselves or the staff working for the artists. These people work odd/anti-social hours, such as concert times, or are awake from midday and into the early hours of the following, these are the people that make the organisation money, they cannot be restricted and so whatever solution is offered must work for them. These are heavy users of mobiles rather than laptops and heavy devices, often having 2/3 mobiles each.

The issues for Universal Music

Procurement Process – The nature of the business means that there are high vendor numbers; globally this is around 130,000, most of which are only doing a few transactions per year. There had to be a trade-off between the huge administrative costs of procurement or lack of spend analysis. The Solution to this was vendor self-service.

Budgeting Process – Universal Music wanted to implement a strict ‘no budget, no spend’ policy, but the budgeting process was managed in various different systems and not always integrated with the procurement process, the Invenio’s P2P Solutions solution was a budgeting solution tightly integrated with P2P and workflows.

Usability and Outsourcing – Most procurement is done by business users that are not very ‘system savvy’ so the solution needed to be user-friendly, with minimum data entry and clicks. Universal Music was also at the time on a rigorous outsourcing drive, so the solutions they were looking at needed to be ‘outsourcing-friendly’ and require little training. Invenio’s P2P Solutions answered the brief, having a user-friendly front end and availability with mobile devices, ideal for the creative parts of the business.

Integrated Solution – Universal Music has embarked on a journey to implement a single global SAP finance solution, leaving behind all of the integration issues. The integration with 3rd party solutions had become unmanageable and classic SAP solutions were cost prohibitive. The Invenio’s P2P Solutions solution is built on SAP and is flexible with its licence.

The Benefits to Universal Music

Cost savings – thousands of administrative hours have been saved; the system is easy to learn and to use, enabling quick outsourcing and a further reduction in costs. The paperless processing ensures that no invoices are lost and so saving on urgent processing of invoices and payments. And with no integration issues with SAP the costs and impact on the business of implementation are removed.

Control, compliance and reporting – the delegation and approval in accordance with internal control compliance provides an easy audit and review functionality and clear approval trail. The system provides proper internal cost control – no approved budget = no spend. Reporting on a single database ensures real-time reporting and no discrepancies.

Vendor relationship – Vendors maintain their own data, raise quotations and can ‘self’ bill. There is transparency for suppliers, so this leads to a reduction in vendor queries regarding payments or open items. As the system is web-based vendors and internal users can utilise this system from any location.

Delegate Questions

The Universal presentation raised a lot of questions from the delegates and some very in-depth and specific queries were raised. Here are just a few of these:

”What happens if my vendors won’t change to this new system?” – Universal Music explained that out of thousands of vendors in the UK only 2 have said they will not use the platform. All others have moved over to Invenio’s P2P Solutions with ease and find the system easy to use. The global rollout is going ahead as planned.

“With the supplier being the initiator, how do they know what to quote for?” – There are set quote templates that can be set up, or a simple call to your vendor to quote, as you would with any other quotation request.

“I am going on annual leave, will this hold the approval process up?” – No you can set a delegation within the system to approve these, these are also within set boundaries, stopping the risk of fraudulent transactions.

“Do all suppliers need to be registered if it is only a one off payment?” – Universal took the view to register all vendors on the system as this is easier. We have a ‘clean up’ function available where inactive accounts are archived when not used. If in the vendor needs to bill in the future, it is just re-activated.

With so many questions being raised the discussions lasted a long time. The discussions from the event have provided us with a great customer focused insight into many different financial and procurement teams, within many industries. This will help us continue to develop our Invenio’s P2P Solutions technology and also help us to serve our new and existing client base.

Our next event will be held in October, you can keep up-to-date here.