If I already have SAP, why would I want to integrate it with a business network?

As we have seen in previous posts, ERPs such as SAP are designed to Support the buesiness processes of companies, acting as a nervous system that guarantees the integrity of the data between the different processes by applying their integrated nature. SAP allows us, among many other funtionalities, to automate and simplify the processes related to invoices, minimizing time and cost. Like all ERP, its work capacity is limited to specific transactions but it does not have the ability to manage the entire end-to-end process.

In order to further develop the functions of our ERP, there are S2P (Source-to-Pay) or P2P (Purchase-to-Pay) solutions, systems that allow companies to support their supply cycle and support the end supply chain from end to end, such as, for example, the management of procurement contracts or modules that we do not have in ERPs. In addition, some of these systems have their own Business Networks (B2B Networks).

What solutions can we find in the market?

Currently, we can find many alternatives on the market, some of them more consolidated, others, emerging but are also compatible with our software. SAP Ariba, Coupa y Tradeshift are some of the most valued alternatives in the market.

What benefits do e-Procurement platforms bring us?

Inside and outside the SAP world, it is increasingly common to find companies that choose to incorpórate SaaS or PaaS solutions to their digital ecosystems to complement their ERPs, and e-Procurement platforms are a good example. In addition to giving us Access to B2B networks and the millions of companies that are part of them, integration with these platforms is simple and provides a high return on investment. Here are some additional benefits these platforms offer:

  • User Experience: since these systems are found in the cloud, the user interface is much more intuititve than ERP systems. This allows us a faster and more progressive learning, since the knowledge of existing users can be used.
  • Mobile integration: similarly thanks to its web architecture, it allows us to use mobile applications in a simpler way than for ERPs, since they require les experience and les maintenance.
  • Rapid evolution and constant innovation: thanks to operating through a web browser, they have the ability to evolve quickly and meet the needs that may arise from users, the industry or integrate innovative processes. In this way, S2P platforms are able to créate added value faster than ERP systems. 
  • Contract management. Generally speaking, ERPs do not Support Sourcing & Contract Management processes. If we want to obtain this fuctionality we will have to use S2P systems or Best of Breed applications.
  • Workflows. This is one of the great strengths of these systems compared to an ERP. They have an end-to-end workflow that prevents the user from leaving the established process, since it guides the user from end to end in mosto f its modules (instead of executing individual transactions).
  • Good Support for indirect purchases. We refer to indirect purchases as everything that is not included in the direct purchase, since a network of suppliers must satisfy the purchasing needs in a total way. This is why the Procure.toPay modules of S2P systems are the best candidates to cover this aspect.
  • Modularity: often, we we implementa n ERP in our company, we cannot choose the modules that will generate value for our company and pay the license according to what we exclusively need, but rather a single license is paid whether or not we use all the available modules. In the case of S2P platforms, we can choose the modules that really generate value fo rus and pay for the licenses accroding to our use. This gives us greater flexibility and also allows us to select modules that our ERP does not cover.

If you are looking for a tool to help you with your decision process, or if you want more information about hese or other alternatives, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to help you.