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The Blood, Sweat and Tears of Purchase-to-Pay

In much the same way you won’t get fit just by joining the gym, you won’t make savings just by buying a P2P system – you need to use it!

A couple of months ago a friend came to me and said he wanted to get fit (this time he means it). He is someone who passionately loathes the idea of exercise, but as he rolls into his 30’s is starting to see there is a reasonable amount of health benefit attached. So I suggested we take on our local Parkrun. (For those who have never taken part it’s a free 5km run, organised by volunteers in local parks across the country). I’m fairly active so didn’t think too much of a 5km trundle round the park. My friend however was becoming increasingly nervous, after a couple of ‘don’t worry mate, go at your own paces’ from me we got to the start line. At which point the tears started to flow. My mate, a fully-fledged grown up, slowly venturing into his early 30’s broke down in tears at the thought of running 5km. (By the same token if you stick a couple of simultaneous equations in front of me you’ll get a similar reaction!)

Of course, by that point it was too late. The crowd was too big, there was no backing out and in the end we did make it round. 44.02mins won’t exactly have Mo Farah quaking in his boots but he rightly felt a huge sense of pride and achievement.

Problem is, we never went back.

And so to P2P. If you make it so people have to click through 10 screens just to raise a PO they may do it once, they may do it twice if you’re watching, but you can guarantee it won’t become habitual.

They will fall back into just calling the same guy they always have, you’ll have the same litany of suppliers you’ve always had, you’ll still have maverick buying, no tangible savings realised and your investment will be money down the drain.

The lesson is, you need to make it easy or perhaps more accurately – you need to make it manageable. So how do you make it manageable?

Consult a specialist. As it happens my mate has stuck to his fitness goal, he’s just made it manageable. He’s following Fit in Five on Sky with Marvin Ambrosius and he doesn’t miss a day. He’s getting fit and healthy in 5 minutes a day, and it’s working. He may not have a personal, personal trainer but he’s following one, he’s seeking advice from someone who is a specialist in training absolute beginners, and he’s making it manageable. And that is Marvin’s niche, his USP, he understands his audience. He knows he’s not training Andy Murray or The All Blacks, he’s training beginners.

And that’s the key with P2P. P2P is unique, it’s not just for trained specialists in Finance, Procurement or IT, it’s for everyone. It is a system for absolute beginners, and for absolute beginners if you want them to follow new process, for good practice to become habitual, you have to make it easy – and the best way to do that, consult a specialist.

You need a specialist who understands their audience, who they are training and can provide the right easy-to-use, easy-to-understand tools, to ensure P2P success is obtained and maintained.

There are a number of things you need to do to ensure P2P project success, but making it easy is a key one.

If any of this resonates and you wish to discuss further, please feel free to contact Touchstone Spend Management.

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Written by:

Charles Fotheringham

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