Last month, we told you about some of the areas for P2P improvement that Procurement and Accounting had begun tackling as part of the Procurement-to-Pay (P2P) Reengineering project. Below are the improvements that the team will be working on this fall.
Out of the 167 improvement opportunities identified earlier this year in a series of workshops with stakeholders, 12 initiatives made it to the top of our list. These will be analyzed, discussed, reviewed and potentially implemented in the coming months (with more complex initiatives falling in 2021). For efficiency’s sake, they will be tackled in batches of two or three at a time. Once they are completed, the project team will look at other opportunities and determine a plan for them. Some may need to wait until the arrival of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
As in the previous phase, end-user involvement remains crucial as we need to ensure that each proposed solution makes sense to all parties.
- Convert pCard request forms from paper to electronic: Digitizing the paper form currently used to request a new pCard means users should see a reduction in processing times, making the process more agile.
- Explore virtual pCards: Virtual cards generate a new number for every transaction. They could remove the need for some physical cards and help prevent fraud.
- Publish the list of available vendors-of-record (VOR): This initiative should offer faculties and services greater access to the list of “campus-wide” contracts available to them. Users could save time by purchasing from pre-approved vendors instead of starting a procurement process from scratch.
- Improve the transfer of accounts payable (AP) forms and related documents from faculties and services: The intention is to convert the AP forms into electronic documents, and to establish a procedure to receive them from faculties and services and store them centrally.
- Accelerate the payment of vendors managed through exceptions. Procurement providing visibility to Central AP on approved derogations and transgressions will lead to more seamless invoice processing.
- Consider a loading dock remote door unlock mechanism for the Science Store: This could reduce risk of forced entry and facilitate deliveries to the store.
- Automate wire payments: This will allow for faster and better management of wire payments.
- Remove double approval of shipping tolerance: This will streamline processes so that shipping charges are only approved in one system (SciQuest or Banner).
- Change goods receipt requirements: Current procure-to-pay processes require a three-way match (PO-Invoice-Receipt) on all purchases. Could a different approach apply for low-risk or low dollar-value items? The initiative will research the topic and find opportunities to reduce the administrative burden.
- Implement a multi-year purchase order (PO) process: This initiative will attempt to align the University of Ottawa with best-in-class business practices that save users the burden of recreating a purchase order (for multi-year agreements) at the beginning of each fiscal year.
- Implement a fix for the tax issue in SciQuest: It’s back! This project will re-explore options to allow SciQuest to handle international purchases or deliveries outside of Ontario. The team will ensure alignment with the upcoming ERP system implementation.
- Implement optical character recognition (OCR) software: This software could revolutionize the way invoices are processed at the University. OCR software helps to digitally capture the different fields of an invoice and automate the transfer of information into our financial systems (ERP).
Questions and comments
The team is very excited about this new phase of the project, and we hope you are too. As always, if you have comments or questions, email us.