I stumbled upon a baseball statistic that even ardent followers of sabermetics may not study. It’s the percent of stolen bases that occur before a pitcher begins his throwing motion. On average, these attempts occur less than 5 percent of the time; however, for the Oakland A’s, the team featured in the best-selling book turned movie Moneyball, the figure is 27 percent. For this statistic, the Oakland A’s are ahead of the pack. No other team comes close.

For organizations looking to streamline their procure-to-pay operations for business advantage, attention to statistics can reap dividends.

Here are some metrics that you can use to benchmark your operations and measure performance:

Type Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Process % PO Invoices Process Annual # of invoices processed per FTE Process % invoices with exceptions Process First-pass match rate Process % of electronic invoices Process % of e-enabled suppliers Process Processing cost per invoice Process/Discounts Average invoice approval days Discounts % of applicable spend under discount Discounts % of discounts captured Discounts % of suppliers discounting Discounts Discount savings as % of spend Working capital management DPO against industry median Working capital management # of discrete payment terms Compliance % compliance to contract values Compliance $ savings leakage (per $1 billion)

Collaboration via a business network can dramatically improve business performance in all these areas. Take invoices processed per full-time employee (FTE) as an example. Organizations that rely on people to process paper invoices might struggle to process 10,000 annual invoices per FTE. Those that connect with suppliers over a business network can achieve more than 40,000 invoices processed annually per FTE, and I’ve heard cases where the productivity rate exceeds 80,000 annual invoices.

Performance likewise varies around early payment discount capture, where laggards might only capture 20 percent of eligible discounts. Business networks not only enable organizations to capture close to 100 percent of eligible discounts, but expand the discount pool to new suppliers that never offered discounts before. This is a win-win situation. These suppliers often fall into a group that is most in need of cash, and providing early payment in exchange for a discount supports their liquidity requirements. Meanwhile, you as the payer get a double-digit cash return, risk-free, that can’t be earned with other short-term investments.

As you review these key performance indicators, which of these KPIs do you regularly monitor? Do you have other valuable metrics not on this list? I’d welcome your comments and additions, and the rationale behind them.