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How does innovation in a Digitalised Procure-to-Pay Process work in practice?
There are already many examples how our digital innovations drive our Procure to Pay process into a new era. For example cloud solutions are one cornerstone of our digital strategy and we are already using them to accelerate our e-invoice penetration further. The benefit here is clearly the network effect of having easy access to a large vendor base with one standard solution and to not worry about the need to customise and develop a bespoke solution. Another pillar of our digital strategy is to move to deep data analytics. We have implemented a data mining solution start of this year and it is giving us insight at a level of depth and the ability to react quickly to the point we had simply never available beforehand. The third area I would refer to, are our robotics initiatives. We have launched already a couple of robots in the E2E procure to pay process and they have proven straight a new level of efficiency freeing up capacity in our teams to focus on higher value activities and remove transactional day to day work. 
Could you please explain the main challenges in enabling E2E Touchless Processing through enhanced automation and robotics?
The first challenge we found was that we had to touch invoices even in case they came to us as fully electronic, tax compliant e-invoice. And we found out that there were two main reasons why this was the case. First, we were not fully utilising our existing technologies, or the technology we used was simply not working as expected. Examples here were auto-posting rules being disabled, tax or other data configuration in the system being ambiguous and local requirements in our business wanting to operate in a certain way. All of these let to manual intervention and we had to launch a multitude of initiatives to unblock those and see the impact now in a steadily increasing number of touchless invoices. The second main reason preventing an E2E touchless process is the consistency between the purchase order and the invoice. We found all type of inconsistencies here, starting from vendor master data, payment terms, prices, etc. Our close co-operation with the Procurement team and the deep data mining tool we use, enabled us to address already a few of those. For example we have launched a new KPI, we call it “Perfect PO“ and here we measure how well our purchase orders are issued first time to allow a touchless handling further down in the process.
How the future in procurement looks like with leveraging Digital Sourcing and advanced cognitive technologies?
It is amazing to see the wide field of solutions that already exists. Just a few fascinating examples are digital assistants operating as buying guides and being connected to the entire knowledge of the internet, algorithm enriched with artificial intelligence predicting demands based on patterns or a fully automated inventory system operating as an internet of things and acting like the nervous system of a supply chain are all thinkable. To turn them into practical use cases is part of our role and to bridge the gap between the art of the possible and the best and most impactful solutions for the company at a given point in time.
What would you like to achieve by attending the P2P Process Owners Strategy Workshops session?
It is a great opportunity to meet colleagues facing similar challenges and learning from their experience. But it goes beyond getting an overview where companies are moving, it is about shaping this journey together with others. I really look forward to it.


Ahead of the P2P Process Owners Strategy Workshop, Mr. Stefan Delater, Global Process Owner for Procure to Pay at Vodafone talks about advanced P2P journey including process mining and data analytics, robotics and more sophisticated areas like cognitive procurement.

About the conference:

This workshop stream will serve as a platform for benchmarking best practices and successful approaches to resolving key P2P goals and obstacles that are on the way to those goals. New topics discussed will include creating a strong Purchasing Master Data Management fundament, delivering additional value through dynamic discounting, discussing the best strategic P2P function models and experiences with outsourcing vs. in sourcing. We will also hear innovations on self-service supplier portal, eCatalogue, and eProcurement in general. Our seasoned speakers from cross-industry spectrum of MNC will share a detailed practical overview and experiences on main P2P challenges to Straight-Through -Processing and well balanced DPO management. Attend this marcus evans Process Owners P2P strategy workshop to get a clear understanding of the latest trends and best practices from peer lead practical case study sessions. The P2P Process Owners Strategy Workshop will take place from the 17th until the 18th of November 2016 in Amsterdam Marriott Hotel, Netherlands.


Copyright © 2016 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Previous Attendees Include
  • Actelion Pharmaceuticals
  • AkzoNobel
  • Baxter
  • Bayer
  • Cisco
  • Coca Cola
  • Copenhagen Airports
  •  EDF Energy
  • EEI – European Electronic Invoicing Platfrom
  • IKEA
  • Jaguar
  •  KPMG 
  • Novartis
  • Orange
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland
  •  Visa Europe 

About the speaker:

Stefan sits in the Vodafone Finance Operations Leadership Team as the Global Process Owner for Procure to Pay Processes. As a finance professional, Stefan held various roles, including Financial Controlling, Mergers & Acquisitions and Internal Audit. In the last 7 years, Stefan was closely linked to Vodafone’s Finance transformation journey. First as CFO of the newly established Vodafone Procurement Company, which grew to a trading volume in excess of 4Bln EUR during this term, before leading the Vodafone SSC in Budapest for 2 years, which has evolved from a pure Finance Centre towards a multi-service line shared service centre within this period. In autumn 2013, Stefan took the role of GPO for Procure to Pay, Asset Management, Transactional Cash Management, Travel & Expense and Site Rental. Stefan gained a strong expertise in various Finance fields, Business Process Management and Change Management across various industries such as Telco, Manufacturing and Utilities.


Digitalised Procure-to-Pay Process in practice


An interview with Vodafone

Stefan Delater, Global Process Owner for Procure to Pay
at Vodafone

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