A unique place to Collaborate

This article appears in our Q2 2022 issue of Finance Transformation Magazine. To download the issue, click here

Ellen Leith, Editor and Director of the Purchase to Pay Network (PPN) talks about their Annual Conference which took place on the 7th June and why the PPN is a unique collaboration environment.

At Purchase to Pay Network (PPN) we offer something unique – a meeting of minds for people across the different functions of Finance, Accounts Payable and Procurement. Despite many column inches spent talking about collaboration across these areas, sometimes it can still seem a distant goal. But for over a decade we’ve been connecting people and businesses and helping them to see past silos and into a networked future.

Our aim has always been to provide a platform to raise visibility of what are still sometimes seen as transactional functions, and build a community to share success stories, discuss cultural and technical change and challenges. Today, that network has grown to over 15,000 professionals attracting Finance Directors, Heads of Purchase to Pay (P2P) and Procurement professionals alike.

P2P Transformation Summit 2022

We were finally face to face again at our 8th annual P2P Transformation Summit at the beautiful Hurlingham Club, London last week. At PPN, we take those Ps seriously. It’s not just Pay and it’s not just Procurement, but looking at the end-to-end process, and how that can connect. And of course, not forgetting the most important P of all – People.

And why did feel it was important to do that? Well, as we heard at one of our panel discussions looking at why Finance and Procurement teams should work together, one of the panellists likened it to a football team.

“Imagine;” he asked us “If you invest in a star striker (great Sales and Marketing), but then don’t make the same investment into your goalkeeper or defence (Procurement + a progressive CFO) then you’re never going to win the Champions League.”

We can’t profess to be excellent football pundits here at PPN, but we recognise a Beautiful Game when we see one, and that kind of seamless teamwork and integration, is what the organisations in our Network are trying to achieve.

PPN Focus Week: 19-23 September

And it was a wonderful experience to be face-to-face again with our community, sharing insights, stories, and challenges, and finally being able to do so over lunch and some laughter over coffee. Haven’t we missed that!

As wonderful as that was, if anything has come out of the pandemic it’s our ability to adapt and be flexible in the way that we receive information, which means that we’re going to continue with our virtual Focus Week experience, now in its third year, from the 19th to the 23rd September 2022.

Originally conceived out of our regular Friday “snug room” chats, which kept our network connected during the pandemic, the week is now a regular fixture in our calendar. With conversations with research analysts, international supply chain professionals, experts in CSR and the transformation of our finance and P2P worlds, each day offers something special and a particular focus.

One of the highlights is the conversations with our wonderful PPN Award winners and finalists. It’s always fantastic to hear in more detail some of the tremendous work that the teams and individuals in our industry have been doing. And of course, to show of their lovely glass awards one more time!

Finance for the Future

Our community is at the forefront of change, often leading their organisations to explore new method of processing, learning how new ideas around corporate culture and compliance regulations will impact them now and in the future. And it’s with that in mind that we’re hosting the first of our Finance for the Future Lectures on 2nd November at the Soho Hotel in London.

A four-hour session packed with speakers from companies such as AstraZeneca on topics as broad as career mapping and working outside of your comfort zone to digitisation and intelligent automation.

Your Network and Your Community

We make it our goal to bring people together and connect them to discuss issues that affect the industry, now and into the future. We look at the rise of technology, connect people with solution providers, provide help in how to manage remote or hybrid teams and how to build our departments so that they feed into the overall strategy of the business.

We connect thousands of professionals every day via news items, our research papers, webinars, masterclasses, virtual roundtables, P2P Live!, the job board and our annual P2P Transformation Summit, our 9th set for next year on Tuesday 6th June 2023.

About the author: Ellen Leith

Ellen has built the P2P Network since its creation in 2008, getting to the root of the challenges facing P2P, AP, finance, procurement and issues affecting the wider business community, creating a home for over 15,000 professionals along the way.