An online study designed through a collaboration between ICM Unlimited and Purchasing Insight took the form of interviews with 706 business decision makers based within twelve European markets. Those interviewed were board-level leaders in procurement and corporate finance that worked within both small and large businesses, and they were asked to relate how they believed Purchase to Pay (P2P) processing systems would advance over the course of the coming years. ICM Unlimited’s resulting report, “The Future of Purchase to Pay 2016”, revealed that no more than 3% of businesses based in Western Europe believed that there was any place in the future for P2P processing that is carried out manually.
Over 50% of businesses in Europe have already started migrating towards automated P2P processes, and almost all of the rest agree that their P2P processes would also become automated in time. However, the majority of the businesses report that they have not currently attained full control over their spend through the use of Purchase Orders, and 50% stated that not even half of their spend is under control.
Because roughly 42% of leaders in procurement and 50% of decision makers currently feel that the productivity of their respective departments are either below average or not as high as what is desired, many businesses are hopeful to assess the benefits that the incorporation of digital P2P processing systems can bring. In fact, 23% of decision makers in Europe have stated that their companies will have fully converted to digital P2P processing by the end of 2018.
Despite some concerns voiced by decision makers that automated P2P systems could be particularly costly to implement, there is nonetheless a broadly shared expectation that they will be in place sooner or later. At present, 10% of European businesses have stated that they have already fully converted to digital P2P processing systems.
Purchasing Insight’s managing director, Pete Loughlin, has expressed that each of the European companies that are intent on fully and productively adopting an automated model for P2P hopes to partner with a vendor that is capable of delivering multiple P2P methods. Each business feels that, in order to smoothly carry out the transition, it will need to associate with a specific vendor that can handle P2P processing in both its digital and manual forms in the meantime, rather than have multiple vendors carry out different types of P2P processing whenever needed.