Sourcing Force Cloud Platform V3.22 Release: an Intro to Source-to-pay UI/UX.

by | Sep 11, 2022 | Compliance & Validation, Contract Management, e-Procurement solution

sourcetopay ux ui

blog by Spend Matters yesterday caught my eye, as it’s a topic that’s very top of mind here at Sourcing Force: the procurement technology user experience – or UIX. Coming hot on the heels of the Spend Matters’ E-Procurement SolutionMap,  it’s a perfect time to look at what source to pay UIX really means and why it matters. More importantly, look at some of the many ways we optimize it on the new V3.22 Release of the Sourcing Force Cloud Platform.

 

source to pay ux ui

Source to Pay UIX: It’s all about the user base.

Jérémy Ferrer, VP of Sales at Sourcing Force, is going to be deep-diving into the Sourcing Force Cloud Platform V3.22 Release in an upcoming series of blogs. He will explore the new features and enhanced functionality of each solution, both how they relate to UIX and achieving business results. In this blog, we take an introductory look at the UIX concept.

As the Spend Matters blog states, UIX is much more than just a pretty screen and an inviting interface. But first impressions count, so having a clean, attractive and well-organized user portal is not just a trivial afterthought. Google baked this science into people’s consciousness by the sheer weight and momentum of their online presence. That’s why Google Material Design principles shape the way users access our SaaS Source-to-Pay solutions on the Sourcing Force Cloud Platform: they work, beautifully.

Jérémy explored the rationale behind using Material Design concepts in an informative blog series. He points out that the value of our unified platform – shared master data and metadata, business process management tying together workflows, modular solutions and more – is based on seamless access. In other words, creating a tactile experience that encompasses whole unified feel in navigating from one place to the next. And being able to do it across devices.

How Source-to-pay UX UI

Translating user experience.

Spend Matters notes that part of the impetus for establishing standards and criteria for what constitutes UIX came out of their new SolutionMap series (in which we ranked as a Value Leader across five personas). Ease of use, learning curve, functional and business user experiences and what they call “touchless” features – e.g., automated – are some of the areas they will define.

Based on those, what follows are just some of the solution highlights in our V3.22 Release:

Sourcing Force Core – Email reporting allows users to schedule reports that can be received on a specified schedule (daily, weekly, etc.), and accessed across devices. Report Maker authorization allows users to edit a report and select the frequency and the format of the document in the email. Imagine executives and managers who are constantly out of the office but need to be kept in the loop regarding spend, budgeting, approvals, etc.

Supplier Management – Suppliers are critical partners in any business. As such, having as much capability as possible regarding supplier information and performance helps ensures the suppliers you have are the ones you want. To that end, users can promote the scoring of all types of supplier questionnaires (external, internal or linked only with the supplier invitation form), and have those scores linked to metrics directly within supplier scorecards. This provides supplier managers/owners real time access to supplier risk and performance by way of their scorecard and overall supplier profile.

Contract Management – User experience is very evident in the ease and seamlessness of workflow. Consider contract creation, where prescribed steps along the approval path can either enhance or disrupt the flow. That’s why we’ve integrated the DocuSign console directly within Sourcing Force Contract Lifecycle management. Users can easily insert tags and preview the contract before it is sent for signatures, and approvers can execute contracts right within the contract project in Sourcing Force. No need to open a new program – it’s all right there.

Procurement – For procurement teams, the amount of events and transactions that occur on a constant basis mean any speed and ease enhancements have an exponential effect. With Blanket POs, supplier invoices for specific amounts and time periods can be managed without the need for receipt creation for each order. This enables supplier invoices to be easily matched and automatically be deducted from the blanket PO, greatly accelerating the receiving and matching process for recurring needs like expendable goods.

As we like to say, even the best solutions are useless if nobody uses them. That’s why Sourcing Force is continuously pushing new boundaries on the UIX front, to make all of our SaaS solutions easy to use, but also as effective as possible in terms of achieving business results. Stay tuned for a detailed exploration of the V3.22 Release enhancements for each of our solutions from Jérémy Ferrer in his upcoming blog series.

The Source-to-pay Efficiency Arc.

Holistic as a word was first used 80 years ago. That’s why it’s a bit surprising that the concept is just now gaining real traction in source-to-pay. But, as Ardent Partners explains in their report, the shift is happening because of the intersection of modern competitive business pressures and continuing innovation in technology.

This has forced – and enabled – leading enterprises to take a more holistic view of their supply management workflow. As this Solution Spotlight also shows, this is signaling a rising interest and adoption of source-to-pay platforms.

Responsiveness – call it agility, flexibility, nimbleness – and being able to pivot on a dime to address changing business realities has become critical.

This can prove difficult to source-to-pay and procurement professionals, since processes span multiple functions and stakeholders.

That’s where embracing what Ardent Partners calls the “Arc of Source-to-Pay” comes in. A seamless streamlining and linking of processes and sub-processes, this creates a cumulative effect, an amplification from one process to the next.

The holistic is greater than the sum of its parts.

source to pay ui

Enhancing the confluence of functional areas – in that case, procurement and accounts payable – increases visibility and transparency, reduces risk and cycle times, improves savings and cost control and significantly speeds workflow. Not just for one department, but for both. An example is an invoice created from a PO generated by a system; as Ardent Partners points out, it’s pretty much a guarantee to match the original PO and so will get processed much more quickly, or straight-through.

Ardent Partners’ spotlight calls out the example of connecting supplier information management and contract management solutions. Each on its own brings measurable advantages to organizations. The combination of the two is where the true power lies – the force multiplier – by streamlining onboarding, enhancing compliance and empowering teams to aggregate and leverage enormous amounts of verified shared data. In this day and age of greater regulations and accountability, being able to continuously monitor and/or validate suppliers to mitigate third-party risk is mandatory.

The platform advantage.

To achieve a holistic perspective and practice, integration is everything. To derive the maximum value from visibility and efficiency, that means a platform. Point solutions and cobbled-together suite solutions can work together, but can’t reach the level of seamlessness or single source of data that a true cloud platform offers.

When connecting multiple solutions, each with a robust workflow, the integration made possible on a platform is critical. Linking those many workflows across the wider source-to-pay continuum, especially with shared master data and metadata, calls for business process management built-in on the core. This integration is key to establishing the requisite collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness.

The Ardent Partners spotlight goes on to further explain and detail the many advantages of a holistic source-to-pay platform approach that combines sourcing, procurement, contract lifecycle management, supplier management, invoicing, analytics and more.

A few of these include reducing complexity, easier updates and enhancements, improve data visibility and quality and others.

The report ends with an objective assessment of the Sourcing Force Cloud Platform and solution capabilities, parsed against all these criteria.

The upshot is, best-in-class enterprises are well on their way across the arc of source-to-pay efficiency, and it’s worth following their example.

procure to pay white paper

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Par Jérémy Ferrer, le 11/09/2022

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