Skip to main content
Tag

Spend Analysis

transition from concur invoicing to sap ariba buying and invoicing

Overcoming Concur Invoicing Challenges: Why SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing is the Upgrade You Need

By Procurement No Comments

As businesses grow, the tools and systems that once served them well can start to fall short. This is particularly true for companies using Concur Invoicing.

While Concur is a solid solution for managing expenses and travel, many growing enterprises find themselves outgrowing its capabilities, facing rising costs, and encountering new inefficiencies.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the real-world pain points of Concur Invoicing and explain why SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing is the ideal upgrade for scaling businesses.

The Hidden Costs of Growth with Concur Invoicing

When your company was smaller, Concur Invoicing likely provided an effective solution for managing expenses and travel. However, as your business scales, so do the costs associated with using Concur. This escalation in expenses can become a significant financial burden.

Real-World Scenario: Consider a mid-sized company that initially found Concur to be a cost-effective solution. As they expanded, the increased volume of transactions and the need for more comprehensive invoicing features meant higher costs. What was once an economical choice began to strain their budget, reducing their overall profitability.

Impact:

  • Higher Operational Costs: The pricing structure of Concur Invoicing becomes less favorable as transaction volumes increase.
  • Reduced Profit Margins: Increased costs directly impact the bottom line, limiting funds that could be used for growth and innovation.

Limited Advanced Features for Complex Needs

Concur Invoicing is known for its user-friendly interface and robust travel and expense management capabilities. However, it often falls short in providing the advanced procurement features that growing businesses require.

Real-World Scenario: A company with complex procurement needs might struggle with Concur’s limited functionalities. They may need detailed spend analytics and comprehensive supplier management tools to manage their procurement processes effectively. Without these advanced features, they risk inefficiencies and compliance issues.

Impact:

  • Inefficiencies: Lack of advanced features can lead to manual workarounds and process delays.
  • Compliance Risks: Inadequate procurement management tools can result in non-compliance with internal policies and external regulations.

Integration Challenges Leading to Disjointed Processes

Integrating Concur Invoicing with existing ERP systems can be a significant challenge for growing businesses. This lack of seamless integration often results in disjointed processes, increased manual effort, and potential errors in invoicing.

Real-World Scenario: A company attempting to integrate Concur with their broader ERP systems may face numerous hurdles. Disjointed processes and manual data synchronization efforts can lead to delays and errors, negatively impacting operational efficiency.

Impact:

  • Operational Delays: Manual synchronization processes slow down operations.
  • Data Inaccuracies: Increased risk of errors due to manual data handling.

User Frustrations Hampering Productivity

User experience is crucial for the efficiency of any invoicing system. Many Concur users report frustrations with its interface, especially when managing multiple expenses or handling canceled transactions. These pain points can lead to wasted time and reduced productivity.

Real-World Scenario: Employees using Concur Invoicing often struggle with managing multiple expenses due to the inability to apply the same image to multiple entries. Additionally, handling canceled transactions that have already been paid can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Impact:

  • Wasted Time: Users spend more time managing expenses, reducing overall productivity.
  • Employee Dissatisfaction: Frustrations with the system can lead to lower morale and higher turnover.

The Solution: SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing

For businesses looking to overcome these challenges, SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing offers a comprehensive and scalable solution. Let’s explore how Ariba addresses the pain points of Concur Invoicing and provides a more robust platform for growing enterprises.

Scalable and Cost-Effective

Unlike Concur, SAP Ariba is designed to scale with your business. Whether you’re a small company or a large enterprise, Ariba offers a flexible and cost-effective solution that adapts to your needs.

Key Features:

  • Flexible Pricing: Ariba’s pricing structure is designed to be cost-effective for businesses of all sizes, ensuring that you only pay for what you need.
  • Adaptability: As your business grows, Ariba scales with you, providing the necessary tools and features to support your expanding operations.

Advanced Automation for Efficiency

SAP Ariba excels in providing advanced automation features that streamline the procure-to-pay process, reducing manual errors and boosting productivity.

Key Features:

  • Guided Buying: Helps users make compliant purchasing decisions quickly and easily.
  • Spend Analysis: Provides detailed insights into spending patterns, helping businesses manage costs more effectively.
  • Preconfigured Workflows: Ensures compliance and efficiency with automated approval processes.

Seamless Integration for Smooth Operations

Ariba offers seamless integration with existing ERP systems, ensuring that all your procurement data is synchronized and accurate. This eliminates the disjointed processes and manual synchronization efforts associated with Concur.

Key Features:

  • ERP Integration: Ariba integrates smoothly with your ERP systems, providing a unified platform for all procurement activities.
  • Data Accuracy: Automated data synchronization ensures accuracy and reduces the risk of errors.

User-Friendly Interface Enhancing Productivity

SAP Ariba addresses the common user frustrations seen with Concur, providing an intuitive interface that simplifies procurement tasks and enhances productivity.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive Interface: Easy-to-use platform that reduces the learning curve for new users.
  • Effective Expense Management: Simplifies the process of managing multiple expenses and handling canceled transactions, saving time and reducing frustration.

Make the Switch to SAP Ariba Today

The limitations of Concur Invoicing can hold your business back, especially as you scale. SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing offers a more comprehensive, scalable, and user-friendly solution that addresses the real-world challenges you face. By making the switch, you can streamline your procurement processes, reduce costs, and enhance productivity.

Contact Us to learn more about how SAP Ariba can support your growth and transform your invoicing and procurement processes. Don’t let Concur’s limitations hinder your success. Upgrade to SAP Ariba Buying and Invoicing and experience the difference.

Procurement Analytics and Rogue Spend

Procurement Analytics and Rogue Spend

By Procurement No Comments

Summary: Rogue spend—unmanaged spend—puts businesses at risk of noncompliance, creates unpredictable budgets, reduces forecasting accuracy and completeness, and overall reduces business profits. By using spend analytics, rogue spend can more quickly be spotted and managed, reducing fraud, duplicate purchases, noncompliance risks, and allows leaders to make better-informed decisions based on complete and cohesive data. 

In procurement, an and unwatched budget can quickly spiral out of control, sometimes in ways that can be severely detrimental to the organization both culturally and even legally. Spend analysis is a vital aspect of any procurement strategy and allows decision-makers to gain an accurate snapshot of spending, reduce fraud, and optimize and strategize at both a high and granular level. Failure to control rogue spending can result in over-stretched budgets which are draining to the organization and the employees who must deal with it.

What Is Rogue Spend?

Rogue spend is often mentioned in the same breath as maverick spending and tail spend. No matter what you want to call it, it’s spending that you don’t want in your organization because it is unmanaged and unpredictable. Of course, unmanaged and unpredictable spending means your business’s budget, forecasting, and insights are incomplete at best and completely inaccurate at worst. Issues with rogue spend may also place your business at a much higher risk for non-compliance. 

Rogue spend can happen for a variety of reasons, from the innocent to the ignorant to the downright fraudulent.

On the innocent side of the spectrum, employees may not work within an organization where clear spend policies are in place, causing businesses to lose out of discounts. Procurement professionals may have been directed to focus on other objectives. Lack of proper tools and procedures for contract management may prevent procurement from properly managing spend.

On the ignorant side of the spectrum, there may be a cultural mindset that small purchases are “too small to matter” even though they can quickly add up. Management may accept unmanaged spend because they are unwilling to or do not understand the need to put manpower or money towards managing spending, because they do not understand that, left unchecked, unmanaged rogue spend can quickly spiral far out of control.

And on the fraudulent side of the spectrum, rogue spend can occur in many different ways. For example, in August and September, office supply spend may spike because employees take supplies home to their children to use at school. Similarly, employees may make miscellaneous purchases on personal cards then request reimbursement. Also on personal cards, employees may pay for flights and conferences, request reimbursement, and cancel the flights and tickets in order to pocket the money themselves. According to a white paper from Chrome River titled 10 Ways to Prevent Business Expense Fraud and Abuse, some employees may report many purchases barely below the audit threshold in order to steal money from the company—this sort of risky behavior can quickly be caught using automated spend analytics.

How Can Spend Analytics Help Find Rogue Spend?

Maintaining and clear and accurate picture of your company’s spending data can reveal many insights, not the least of which is rogue spend. Especially if your company utilizes machine learning technology, objective data can be utilized to spot risky behaviors, target spend that is likely to be out of compliance, and find key opportunities to reduce spend by utilizing and strategizing with key suppliers in order to maximize discounts and efficiency. ERP solutions like SAP S/4HANA can be especially helpful in aggregating and analyzing these sorts of spend data into one integrated dashboard.

Spend analysis, by its very nature, increases visibility, allowing decision-makers to make better-informed choices regarding the company’s finances.

Spend analysis can be used to analyze uncategorized spending and assess risks associated with it, determine if there’s a high likelihood that the spend is fraudulent, and help clarify where rogue spending can be reduced in exchange for managed, strategic spending that benefits the company’s bottom line and supplier relationships alike.

intelligent spend management

What is Intelligent Spend Management?

By Procurement No Comments

Intelligent Spend Management: Why it Exists, and Why you Need it

Between global sourcing initiatives, product lifecycle management, supplier diversity milestones and more, the procurement operation in any sizable company is tasked with processing immense volumes of data.

And with the immense popularity of lean and tech-oriented skill sets in the discipline, no data is more relevant to procurement than the things that impacts company spend.

The Problem: Data Islands

Often, supply chain data is kept on systems that don’t talk with each other. Some systems may be deprecated, while others exist only on certain peoples’ machines.

In operations like this, the company is said to lack something called business intelligence– the ability to efficiently analyze data with technology and derive actionable information.

Introducing business intelligence to a company typically involves change management processes with long time horizons, affecting the bottom line. The growing pains required to become a business intelligence-enabled company may require a major culture shift, too, even while dropping large amounts of money on new ERP systems and consultants.

For those procurement operations that do have all their data efficiently accessible in one place, they’ve still only ach

  1. Procurement Strategy

ieved half the battle. Approaching the data with informatics, or the science of how to use data, poses another challenge altogether.

Intelligent Spend Management: How it Works

Thankfully, for small and medium-sized procurement operations, it doesn’t take a reverse auction guru, enterprise software wiz, and sourcing strategist all in one to enhance the unit’s business intelligence with technology. The traditional methods of enhancing business intelligence have been tailored for procurement professionals in a new, simplified process called Intelligent Spend Management.

First and foremost, Intelligent Spend Management (ISM) streamlines your software suite into a centralized hub. From there, ISM allows the supply chain professional to anticipate threats, understand their market, and work across business units to deliver efficiencies that were virtually impossible before.

SAP Ariba, the most comprehensive ISM software suite, generates more data from across the source-to-pay cycle than any other network. As the company website notes, “SAP Ariba’s vast repository of data has been aggregated from millions of companies conducting trillions of dollars in spend over the course of more than 20 years.”

Thanks to the flexibility of SAP Ariba, third-party solutions and custom flexibility can be easily integrated into the software. Efficiency-oriented solutions like Premikati Marketplace fit squarely into the suite without disruption to the end user.

Intelligent Spend Management: Starting the Conversation

With any change management process, the business needs executive buy-in for the initiative to be truly successful. Achieving that buy-in can be a challenge to procurement professionals, who may face pushback for introducing disruptive, new ideas.

Thanks to the presence of consulting companies specializing in the process, like Premikati, the conversations over how best to introduce ISM to one’s own business can take place in a guided, easy-to-understand manner.

Intelligent spend management is as much a philosophical approach to the procurement operation as it is a function of corporate business intelligence. Reach out to the folks at Premikati, who offer an SAP Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution, to start the intelligent spend conversation.

Contact Us