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Procure-to-Pay Reengineering

The Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Reengineering project aims to simplify, modernize, connect and standardize procurement and payment processes to make them more user-friendly and efficient.

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Project purpose

The Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Reengineering project aims to simplify, modernize, connect and standardize procurement and payment processes to make them more user-friendly and efficient.

In 2019, the University launched the Administrative Services Modernization Program to transform its finance, HR and procurement functions. The program comprises several projects, all aiming to improve our administrative processes. Although procurement and payment processes have improved over the years (e.g., digitization of certain activities), practices and tools still vary at the University. Consultations conducted as part of the Modernization Program highlighted P2P as an area of focus.


Objectives

This project specifically seeks to:

  • Standardize practices by reducing unique workflows and finding common ways of working
  • Improve the end-user experience by making P2P processes smoother, more consistent, and simpler
  • Identify technology gaps by recommending additional enhancements and capabilities that meet client needs
  • Improve cycle times by modernizing and simplifying procurement and payment processes
  • Reduce or eliminate non-value-added activities that consistently require manual data entry, correction, repetition, excessive controls or approvals, so that support staff working in procurement and payment services can spend more time managing exceptions, advising clients, and delivering value
  • Facilitate access to corporate information

Project rollout

In 2020, following a series of workshops with stakeholders, the consulting firm hired to assess the current state of the procurement and payment processes submitted recommendations for improvements based on industry best practices and the University organizational context. Out of the 167 improvement opportunities identified, 12 initiatives made it to the top of our list.

These initiatives 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.

End-user involvement remains crucial as we need to ensure that each proposed solution makes sense to all parties.

Progress of the top 12 initiatives

 

Initiatives Completion

Convert PCard request forms from paper to electronic: Digitizing the paper forms used to request, suspend, cancel or change a PCard. Users will see a reduction in processing times and administrators will be more efficient, making the process and approvals more agile.

100%
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. 100%

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.

100%

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.

90%

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.

75%

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.

95%

Automate wire payments: This will allow for faster and better management of wire payments.

10%

Remove double approval of shipping tolerance: This will streamline processes so that shipping charges are only approved in one system (SciQuest or Banner).

0%

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.

85%

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.

0%

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.

25%
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). 15%

Committees and groups involved

Project Sponsors
  • Renée Guénette
    Director, Financial Accounting
    Financial Resources
  • Monica Mendoza
    Senior Director and Chief Procurement Officer
    Financial Resources
Project Steering Committee
  • Philippe-Thierry Douamba
    Chief of Staff
    Office of the Vice-President, Research
  • Cynthia Irakoze
    Director, Administrative Services
    Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost
  • Sylvie Lafontaine
    Director, Business Management
    Facilities
  • Jean-François Lemay
    Director, Financial Services
    Faculty of Medicine
  • Daniel Trottier
    Senior Director, IT Solutions
    Information Technology
Project Team
  • Suzanne Arcand
    Application Manager, Administrative Services Modernization Program
    Financial Resources
  • Marie Brasseur
    Procurement Manager — Research, Procurement
    Financial Resources
  • Valérie Domingue
    Procurement Manager — Operations Section, Procurement
    Financial Resources
  • Scott Himes
    Project Manager and Business Analyst, Administrative Services Modernization Program
    Financial Resources
  • Diane Landriault
    Project Manager, Administrative Services Modernization Program
    Financial Resources
  • Anne-Marie Maheu
    Purchasing Manager
    Faculty of Medicine
  • Josée Maisonneuve
    IT Manager, Administrative Services Modernization Program
    Financial Resources
  • Marie-Josée Ménard
    Manager, Purchasing and Science Store
    Faculty of Science
  • Valérie Michaud-Lal
    Change Management Specialist, Administrative Services Modernization Program
    Financial Resources
  • Sophie Racine
    Manager, PRS Procurement Office
    Facilities
  • Alain Sauvé
    Manager, Accounting
    Financial Resources
  • Stéfanie Parent
    Senior Administrative Officer
    Student Life
  • Anne Simard
    Procurement Systems Support Manager, Procurement
    Financial Resources

Additional information

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