The world of Source-to-Pay stand as a cornerstone in the realm of procurement and financial management for organizations worldwide. This comprehensive process, spanning from the identification of procurement needs to the final payment to suppliers, plays a pivotal role in optimizing efficiency, reducing costs, and ensuring compliance. The importance of the Source-to-Pay process is multifaceted and includes multiple steps to complete:
In conclusion, the Source-to-Pay process is a linchpin in the success of modern organizations. It goes beyond transactional efficiency, encompassing strategic sourcing, risk management, compliance, and financial control. Embracing digital transformation and leveraging advanced Source-to-Pay solutions can empower organizations to not only meet their procurement objectives but also drive sustainable growth and competitive advantage in an ever-evolving business landscape. A lot of organizations are facing following pain-points in their Source-to-Pay processes:
Manual Processes and Lack of Automation
Poor Data Quality and Visibility
Fragmented Systems and Data Silos
Poor Supplier Relationship Management
Complex Approval Processes
Limited Spend Visibility
Ineffective Supplier Onboarding
Lack of Strategic Sourcing
And now we are going to look into how Enterprise Automation can be used to overcome those challenges in Source-to-Pay and ensure smooth processes and a high degree of automation. But first of all – what is Enterprise Automation with SAP?
What is Enterprise Automation?
Enterprise automation with SAP lets our customers leverage best-in-class tools – SAP Integration Suite, SAP Signavio and SAP Build to quickly and easily gain insight into business processes and automate with the right tool for the right outcome. And these tools work seamlessly with your existing business applications–without added complexity.
SAP Integration Suite is an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) with thousands of pre-built integrations, APIs, and connectors to SAP and non-SAP applications. It reduces complexity across on-premises and multi-cloud environments helping you achieve optimized end-to-end business processes.
SAP Signavio provides visibility into business processes, potential bottlenecks, root-cause analysis, and suggestions for improvement based on 200,000 industry benchmarks and best practices. A detailed understanding of inefficiencies helps organizations optimize and automate processes.
SAP Build is a low-code solution to create automations and apps with drag and drop ease. It includes pre-built automations and connectors for SAP and non-sap systems. Business experts can use SAP Build to rapidly address process inefficiencies.
Content for Source-to-Pay:
The easiest way to start with Enterprise Automation with SAP is to use pre-built content. Content provides technical artifacts, which you can implement, and best-practices and recommendations which come directly from SAP’s development team and partners. You can find our content here:
Use this content to your advantage, because it not only gives you technical artifacts which you can deploy in the SAP Build Lobby, but also recommendations and best practices coming from our development team and partners which are certified to upload content for SAP Build. In addition we also make sure that the content is updated and maintained on a regular basis.
The best way to get started with Enterprise Automation is with a concrete use-case. Here we will focus on a scenario, which occurs frequently in many organizations and is a root cause for inefficient and repetitive activity: Every time a new purchase order needs to be processed in SAP, it can include missing master data that needs to be added manually. Here, we are leveraging SAP Signavio Process Intelligence to identify purchase order documents that have a missing material-code. Once the non-coded material has been identified we are triggering a process in SAP Build to assign the material code accordingly. In addition we leverage machine learning to identify the right supplier. In this diagram you can see how automated purchasing group assignment for non-coded material looks like:
As always, we recommend starting with Signavio Process Insights to evaluate your process landscape and identify your biggest automation potential, Here you can look deeply into your Source-to-Pay area and review process steps with low automation rates.
You will also receive direct improvement recommendations and best-practices coming from standard SAP applications or SAP Build.
You can leverage SAP Signavio Process Intelligence to analyze the different steps that need to be handled for processing purchase orders documents successfully.
Here we evaluate single process instances in a sophisticated way and evaluate average cycle times for purchase order processing.
With this tool you get insightful process performance indicators like numbers of purchase order with missing material code.
You can quickly realize that purchase orders with non-coded material can cause disruptive and repetitive tasks for business users.
In addition you can leverage native connectivity to SAP Build and apply business logic to trigger processes directly without human intervention.
As a result, every time a non-coded purchase order has been identified we initiate a process instance in SAP Build.
In order to keep a human in the loop you can send approval notifications to business user for data validation and exception handling.
With this approach you can make context data from the workflow available to business users for them to review.
Use the low-code designer of SAP Build Process Automation for process execution.
In this scenario we initiate steps to identify the right material code and use machine learning to map the correct supplier to each document. At the end of the process logic, the workflow posts the missing material code directly in SAP S/4HANA with native connectors.
To achieve a very sophisticated integration architecture we also include SAP Integration Suite to process purchase order documents in multiple systems.
Here, we leverage a pre-built integration flow to replicate the purchase order in SAP Business Suite on-premise systems.
Enterprise Automation is currently the hottest topic at SAP and it allows you to integrate applications, discover inefficiencies and automate processes across heterogenous environments. Investing in this initiative will certainly provide long-lasting business results with a well-rounded approach to automate and manage automations inside your organization.
This is only an example how those technologies can be used in the context of Source-to-Pay. Keep in mind that this framework is highly adaptive and can be used for any line-of-business, industry or use-case. So make sure that you check out our other assets, enablement’s and documentation to get started with Enterprise Automation with SAP: