Key Takeaways from the Latest S2S Research
Very few companies have a fully automated Source-to-Settle (S2S) solution in place to manage spend holistically. PayStream’s most recent research shows that while many organizations have adopted individual solutions for parts of the spectrum, no vertical or revenue segment has surpassed an adoption rate of 15 percent of a true end-to-end solution, and most have less than 5 percent adoption.
Many times, when CPOs begin process improvement initiatives, they go slowly, automating processes piece by piece. Since sourcing is seen as more strategic than other back office departments, there is often a fear that implementation may negatively affect the current state, and sometimes they don’t touch sourcing at all.
The pains and inefficiencies that sourcing and S2S automation platforms improve upon can be hard to track and measure. This means that calculating and projecting ROI with accuracy is not as straightforward as it is in other departments, which makes it more difficult to gain buy-in from C-suite decision makers.
- Another major barrier to S2S automation is the siloed nature of sourcing, procurement, and AP departments in many organizations. Because of the widespread operations in enterprise companies, these departments are very difficult to manage under one structure and management team—much less on a single technology platform. Smaller organizations where roles interrelate and staff members wear multiple hats are well-suited to adopt an S2S suite. The reality is however, that not many options are available that would fit the budgets and business structures of these organizations.
- In all, S2S software on a platform level is still in its infancy. PayStream draws a distinction between sourcing tools and P2P suites with some souring automation and true S2S, or holistic Source-to-Settle automation. Holistic S2S is a full software suite that manages an entire company’s indirect spend from end to end. While many providers claim to offer the full spectrum of services, this isn’t always true. For more information and profiles of providers that offer true holistic S2S automation, see the full 2017 Source-to-Settle Provider Landscape Report.