Digitalization in procurement

A recent blog on ‘The resilient Procurement organization’ described the benefits of using OpenText™ Extended ECM for SAP® Solutions in a procurement situation. As a recent study shows, the digitalization of procurement is well underway, but by far not complete.

Let’s look at this from a typical Purchase to Pay (P2P) related task – the procurement of a larger set of components of substantial cost used for the manufacturing of equipment. What does it take to digitize this process? How can you manage collaboration and automation of the related information and documents? How can you leverage existing tools and software to accomplish that?

Let´s assume we use an SAP ERP system to run our procurement business – Material Management, Production Planning and Finance. And let’s also assume we don`t use auctioning or a specific Request for Proposal (RFP) platform.  We start our purchasing project with a Request for Quotation (RFQ). To support the RFQ, we set up a workspace for internal and external collaboration in OpenText Extended ECM for SAP Solutions. Our goal is to select the best offer based on pre-defined criteria and collaborate internally and externally with our platform, reusing the material in the follow-on processes.

Our suppliers can drop documents into a specific Extended ECM folder and the purchaser can also drag and drop all material received via email. The information and documents can be accessed from within the SAP system or Content Server document management solution. This is to facilitate contractual negotiations and adjustments of documents and can be managed using the Extended ECM solution. Once a vendor is selected, an order can be created in SAP and the documents will be assigned to the relevant SAP object based on the existing documents of the RFQ process in the Extended ECM application.

In the next step of the P2P process, a VIM for Business Documents solution is used to recognize and process the documents received as Order Confirmation, Delivery Note, and Incoming Invoice. With this approach, the processing of all related documents in the P2P cycle can be supported. Ideally, incoming documents can be processed with no touch, or minimal touch processing if the data of the incoming documents matches the order data, and this form of processing conforms to the organization’s processes and procedures. While an exception can be raised with delivery date changes or price changes on an order confirmation, the proper agent can revise and act on these exceptions including evaluating options and consequences.

While the VIM for Invoices solution can be implemented in a large number of customer systems it can now be extended to VIM for Business Documents solution to cover other documents such as mentioned in this P2P showcase. The good news is that unused license volume can be used to process these documents.

It is also worth mentioning that the solution is highly customizable and can be adjusted to individual needs. I recommend starting with a best practice approach and expand from there if required. OpenText Professional Services has the knowledge and expertise to help you manage and get the most out of your Extended ECM solution. To find out more, please contact us.

Professional Services - SAP/Ecosystem

The Professional Services SAP/Ecosystem team consists of capture and document management, and SAP integration experts with more than 20 years of experience in implementing solutions. The team is fully certified and operates on a global basis, delivering process optimization using implementation best practices across all sizes of projects including large-scale multi-country deployments for global organizations.

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