A month in, procurement change to Ariba P2P looking good

November 14, 2013  

Success on all fronts has marked the early weeks of the Ariba Procure to Pay (P2P) system, which launched Oct. 14 at Purdue, officials say. P2P is a key element of the University's three-year transformation of procurement processes.

By Nov. 1, the Ariba system had handled nearly 6,000 purchase orders amounting to more than $4.79 million in spending. More than 3,000 invoices had been reconciled.

About 1,534 people received training for P2P, and the system is continuing to grow to address their varied needs. Procurement Services is bringing additional suppliers onto the network. Several more catalogs are also in the queue to be brought online.

Among numerous users who have commented favorably about P2P, Marianne Bischoff, a research microbiologist in the Department of Agronomy, says, "This program is great and is so much more efficient than the old system." More user comments are below.

Leaders of the process are attributing the excellent changeover to preparation -- especially readiness to tackle issues -- and the quality of training in regard to both the curriculum and the participation.

Philip O’Keeffe, director of procurement services, says, "I truly appreciate the quality of the planning and execution that has gone into this initiative. The teams involved in project and change management for P2P have been great. The ITaP and Business Manager professionals, the leaders and representatives from the regional campuses and from the departments such as Physical Facilities, Athletics, HFS, Marketing and Media, Accounting, Training, HR, and from our own Procurement Services group, have shown the true spirit of Purdue University in getting this accomplished.

"Our Ariba professionals, led by Kevin Curtiss, have been great partners. And the subject matter experts and the help and support teams who have been coaching and problem solving before and since implementation are outstanding. I am very proud of them all. P2P is a very big step for us as we drive to transform and achieve excellence in the procurement processes at Purdue."

At the launch date, teams were busily whittling down the list of issues with implementing P2P. Their progress can be summarized in these figures:

* Issues before Oct. 14 launch: 160 testing, 84 integration, 40 design
* Issues extant as of Nov. 5:  13 testing, 10 integration, 8 design

The roughly 1,534 participants in P2P training represented the range of roles in the system -- requesters, receivers, invoice exceptions reconcilers/fiscal approvers -- at Purdue's four campuses: West Lafayette, 1,247; IPFW, 140; Purdue Calumet, 98; Purdue North Central, 49.

As the procurement transformation continues, additional Ariba modules are set to go live in the coming months. The spend visibility module is set to go live later in November, and the contracts and supplier modules are set to go live in early 2014. 

Procurement Services officials are expressing appreciation for the feedback received from users system-wide as they continue to refine and enhance the P2P module. Employees wishing to offer feedback may contact the Procurement Services help desk at pshelpdesk@purdue.edu.

Additional comments from users

Barb Kapp, senior associate athletics director for business: "The P2P has really been great! And there were two Athletics staff members who served on an Ariba project resource team. I believe their participation in the configuration, testing, and user training was very instrumental in our acceptance and understanding of the new system." 

Dan Dehn, lead material expeditor in Physical Facilities Fiscal Affairs: "I feel Ariba is a vast improvement over the system we had been using the last 6+ years. It allows all users in Ariba to see all the information attached to a requisition, saving lots of time and phone calls needed to gather this. Much more user-friendly and easy to work with."

Michelle Kidd, research account specialist in the Business Office for the College of Engineering: "The Ariba software allows me to manage the complete buying process by linking the entire purchase from requisition to vendor payment. I'm impressed with the user-friendliness of the program -- I have been able to customize search options and run basic reports with very little direction or training."

Jennifer Maxson,
 account assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology: "Overall I think the system is great. It's user-friendly, you can modify your home page to fit your preferences, and the copy button to add lines is easy to use. The best feature is the email approval with the ability to add notes."

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