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Source-to-Pay vs Procure-to-Pay – What’s the Difference?

Source-to-pay vs Procure-to-pay

Supply chain technology is always changing and evolving and new procurement tools are released often. However, the utility of these changes Procure-to-pay is sometimes clouded by the sheer number of three-letter acronyms that the average sourcing specialist in procurement has to dig through. Because of the confusion around these technologies, today we will break down the difference between Source-to-Pay vs Procure-to-pay.

What is the P2P process?

While it varies from business to business, the Procure-to-pay process can be largely broken down into certain steps, including:

  • Demand – Someone within the company realizes the need for certain goods or services and communicates that they need a purchasing team.

  • Requisition – A purchase requisition is created and then reviewed and approved by the required stakeholders. 

  • Purchase order – Once the purchase requisition is approved, a purchase order is raised and sent for approval. Once approved, this PO is sent to the vendor or supplier.

  • Items received – The goods or services ordered are delivered and received upon.

  • Invoicing – The vendor’s invoice is checked against the PO and any inaccuracies are reconciled with the vendor.

  • Payment – The accounts payable team makes the payment on the invoice.

Advantages of Procure-to-Pay

There are several advantages of the Procure-to-Pay model:

Improved Visibility – Since the entire process is digitalized, organizations have better visibility into their spending. This helps with identifying cost-saving opportunities and areas of improvement.

Reduced Costs – The Procure-to-pay model can help organizations reduce their overall costs by streamlining the procurement process and reducing manual errors.

Greater Efficiency – By automating the Procure-to-pay process, organizations can improve their overall efficiency and speed up the time it takes to get goods and services.

A young man smiling in front of a door.
Benjamin S
trustpilot Jiga
Mechanical Engineer
"I wish this existed years ago!"
Jiga is a good source for new suppliers and streamlines the process of quoting and procuring manufactured items. I have substituted some of my pre-existing quoting workflows with Jiga, which makes the process of quoting parts much quicker and easier. This is in addition to finding new reliable suppliers through their platform.
Jiga is the best way to get the parts you need, when you need them.

Disadvantages of Procure-to-Pay

There are a few disadvantages associated with the procure-to-pay model:

High Implementation Costs – One of the biggest drawbacks of PTP is the high implementation costs. Organizations need to invest in the necessary technology and training in order to get the most out of this model.

Lack of Control – In a Source-to-pay model, buyers have more control over the procurement process as they are sourcing the goods and services themselves. With Procure-to-pay, buyers are relying on suppliers to provide a range of goods and services, which can lead to a lack of control over the process.

Potential for Inefficiency – Because PTP relies on automated systems and processes, it is important that these are implemented correctly in order to avoid the potential for inefficiency. If the process is not followed correctly, this could lead to delays.

What is Source-to-Pay (S2P)?

Source-to-Pay is a refinement or evolution of the Procure-to-Pay model as it adds another layer to the process, strategic sourcing process. 

In order to strategically source the best possible price for goods and services, Source-to-Pay uses digital networks and the data they create to gain better visibility into the procurement process.

Through those insights, Source-to-Pay software is able to strengthen compliance, negotiate better prices, and make more accurate forecasts.

Essentially, Source-to-Pay adds an integrating spend management solution to Procure-to-pay that allows companies to achieve savings through tighter internal controls, greater supply chain efficiency, and better vendor/supplier relationship management.

What is the S2P process?

As with the Procure-to-pay process, the Source-to-Pay process will vary by organization, but the basic outline should include:

  • Demand – A need for new inventory or reassessment of prices and contracts is identified.

  • Sourcing – The S2P platform uses data generated from market trends, historical records, and user-entered data to identify and assess the available options for meeting the organization’s needs.

  • Contract management – The Sourcing team negotiates with the suppliers, taking into account quality, price, delivery time, payment terms, etc.

  • Order placement and tracking – Once a contract is in place, orders can be placed electronically through the system and will be tracked through to delivery.

  • Invoicing and payment – Upon delivery, the goods or services are inspected and an invoice is generated. This is processed through the accounts payable team, which makes payments to the supplier.

Advantages of Source-to-Pay

There are several advantages associated with the Source-to-Pay system:

Reduced administrative and processing costs – Automated processes means that there is less need for manual intervention. This can lead to cost savings.

Greater control over the supply chain – The Source-to-Pay model gives organizations greater visibility and control over their supply chains, which can improve efficiency and reduce the risk of disruptions.

Improved compliance – Automated processes can help to ensure that organizations comply with regulations and contracts.

Increased agility – The Source-to-Pay system can enable organizations to be more responsive to changes in the market, by allowing them to quickly adapt their procurement process

Disadvantages of Source-to-Pay

There are some disadvantages to the Source-to-Pay system. These include:

Higher costs – The implementation of a Source-to-Pay system can be expensive, and may require the reengineering of business processes.

Inflexibility – The Source-to-Pay system can be inflexible, and may not be suitable for all organizations, as it can be difficult to tailor the model to specific needs.

What’s the difference between Source-to-Pay vs Procure-to-Pay?

The primary difference between Source-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay is the scope of each model. Procure-to-Pay is focused solely on the procurement process, while Source-to-Pay encompasses the entire sourcing lifecycle, from supplier selection to contract management.

The benefit of the more holistic approach offered by Source-to-Pay is that it can lead to cost savings and efficiencies throughout the entire organization, not just in the procurement department.

However, this comprehensive approach can also be a drawback, as the Source-to-Pay system can be inflexible, and may not be suitable for all organizations, as it can be difficult to tailor the model to specific needs.

This means that source-to-pay can be more suited to organizations with a complex sourcing process, while Procure-to-pay may be better for those with a simpler procurement process.

The table below summarizes the key differences between the two models:

CategorySource-to-PayProcure-to-Pay
ProcessEncompasses the entire sourcing lifecycle, from supplier selection to contract management.Focused solely on the procurement process, from identification of needs to supplier selection.
AdvantagesCan lead to cost savings and efficiencies throughout the entire organization, not just in the procurement department.Easier to tailor to specific needs than the Source-to-Pay model.
DisadvantagesMay be inflexible and not suitable for all businesses.May be less efficient than the Source-to-pay model.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both procurement models. However, there is still the option to combine both models into what is known as a hybrid model. This allows businesses to focus on specific areas of the procurement process that need improvement.

A young man smiling in front of a door.
Benjamin S
trustpilot Jiga
Mechanical Engineer
"I wish this existed years ago!"
Jiga is a good source for new suppliers and streamlines the process of quoting and procuring manufactured items. I have substituted some of my pre-existing quoting workflows with Jiga, which makes the process of quoting parts much quicker and easier. This is in addition to finding new reliable suppliers through their platform.
Jiga is the best way to get the parts you need, when you need them.

What is a hybrid P2P/S2P model?

The combination of Source-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay models is beneficial because it allows for the strengths of both models to be used. The Procure-to-pay model can help businesses that have a lot of procurement activity, while the Source-to-Pay system can help businesses who want more control over their sourcing process.

Adopting a hybrid model can be advantageous because it allows for the best of both worlds. The Procure-to-pay model can help to improve the efficiency of the procurement process, while the Source-to-Pay system can help to ensure that the right suppliers are chosen.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider before making a decision about which sourcing model is best for your business. One potential disadvantage of the Procure-to-pay model is that it can be more difficult to track spending. This is because the process is decentralized and there are many different invoices that need to be tracked.

Another potential disadvantage of the Source-to-Pay system is that it can be more time-consuming. This is because the process is more manual and there are more steps that need to be followed.

These drawbacks can be compounded in a hybrid model, where some procurement are processed through the Procure-to-pay model and others are processed through the Source-to-Pay system.

Combining for the best of both worlds

Despite the potential disadvantages, there are many advantages to using both models. For example, the Source-to-pay model can help businesses save money by allowing them to negotiate better prices with suppliers. The Procure-to-pay model can help businesses save time by automating the procurement process.

Ultimately, businesses need both Source-to-pay and Procure-to-pay to get the best results. By using a combination of these models, businesses can streamline their procurement process and save money and time.

Adar Hay
Adar Hay
Co-Founder and CEO of Jiga. Adar is a tech industry revenue leader with vast experience in product and marketing management. He's driving Jiga's mission to make parts sourcing frictionless.

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