If you’re grappling with a disjointed procurement process, you’re not alone. Many organizations struggle with the same issues—cumbersome approval processes, lack of visibility into requests, and supplier bloat, to name a few. But there’s a solution that’s gaining traction: Intake-to-Pay (I2P).
I2P is a comprehensive approach to procurement, designed to cover the entire journey from initial need identification, all the way through the final payment to a supplier. It emphasizes user experience and early visibility into spend, providing a holistic view of the procurement process.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between Intake-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay, the benefits of I2P, why a company should switch from P2P to I2P, and the kinds of things you should consider when looking for I2P software.
You might be familiar with the traditional Procure-to-Pay (P2P) approach, which primarily focuses on the transactional aspects of the procurement process.
P2P starts with the creation of a purchase order (PO) after a need has been identified and approved, emphasizing compliance and efficiency within the established purchasing framework.
In contrast, Intake-to-Pay (I2P) encompasses the entire procurement journey, from the initial need identification to the request and approval stages, and ending with payment to the vendor or supplier. It focuses on user experience and early visibility into spending, providing a more comprehensive view of the procurement process.
Increasingly, organizations are taking stock of their P2P procurement operations and adopting I2P. This shift is driven by the desire to overcome the challenges associated with traditional P2P systems, and to reap the numerous benefits I2P offers.
Let’s take a look at the specific challenges of P2P, and how I2P addresses these issues, leading to improved efficiency, transparency, and cost savings.
I2P addresses these challenges and offers several benefits:
When considering an Intake-to-Pay (I2P) solution, there are several key features that can significantly enhance your procurement process. These features not only streamline operations but also improve efficiency and provide greater visibility into spending. Let’s take a closer look at these features, many of which are integral parts of Zip’s I2P solution.
This is the heart of the I2P system. A unified request portal serves as the single point of entry for all purchase requests, eliminating the need for manual routing and reducing confusion. It streamlines the intake process for all employees, and ensures that all requests are captured accurately and transparently.
The ability to accommodate various purchase types is crucial in an I2P system. Adaptable request forms with customizable fields and workflows allow for flexibility in handling different types of purchases, whether they’re for goods, services, or projects. This feature ensures that the system can cater to the unique needs of each department within an organization.
Before a request proceeds, it’s essential to ensure budget compliance, supplier availability, and adherence to guidelines. An automated need validation feature does this by checking each request against predefined criteria, as specified in your platform. This feature helps prevent budget overruns and ensures that purchases align with company policies and supplier agreements.
Depending on the purchase amount, category, or risk level, different approval chains may be necessary. An I2P system allows for the configuration of multi-level approvals, ensuring that the right people are involved in the approval process. This feature helps maintain control over spending and reduces the risk of unauthorized purchases.
To keep the procurement process moving smoothly, an I2P system should automatically route requests through the approval process and send instant notifications to the relevant stakeholders. This ensures that everyone stays informed about the status of requests, reducing delays and improving efficiency.
And when you bring generative AI into the workflow, there’s virtually no limit to the amount of automation and insights available to empower you to make better decisions.
Once a request is approved, the system should automatically generate a purchase order. This feature eliminates the need for manual PO creation, reducing the risk of errors and speeding up the procurement process.
To further streamline the procurement process, the system should automatically fill in necessary information on the PO. This feature saves time, reduces errors, and ensures that all relevant details are included in the PO.
Zip’s Intake-to-Pay solution stands out in the procurement landscape, meeting all the requirements of a next generation intake platform, offering access into the future of Intake.
It features a single-front-door intake portal, automated approval workflows, streamlined vendor management, automatic PO creation and AP automation, along with AI optimizations and integrations that ensure seamless compatibility with your entire tech stack.
By addressing the challenges of traditional Procure-to-Pay systems and harnessing the benefits of Intake-to-Pay, Zip provides a comprehensive, efficient, and user-friendly procurement solution. If you’re considering adopting an Intake-to-Pay system, Zip’s solution could be the game-changer your organization needs.
Don’t just take our word for it—request a demo to see how Zip can revolutionize your procurement process.
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