Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Today, another post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade

Let’s start at the beginning. What do we know about 26? Wikipedia – the font of all knowledge – tells me that 26 is ‘the natural number following 25 and preceding 27’. OK, I can go with this. That’s pretty accurate I guess.

But I know it is more than that. So what else?

Apparently a shape with 26 faces is a rhombicuboctahedron. But, hey, my 2 year old could have told me that… (Note to self, remember that for the next pub quiz).

It is the atomic number for Iron (also useful for the pub quiz).

But moving away from impressive ways to win £50 on a Thursday night…

What else do we know?

The 26th letter and the last letter of the English alphabet is Z. It is the length of a marathon (26 miles and 385 yards to be exact). The human foot and ankle has 26 bones. 26 is the total number of cases on the US version of Deal or No Deal.

….OK, I feel we are now slipping back to the realms of the pub quiz.

So we can see there are many interesting instances of the number 26. Yet the most important (in our eyes at least!) seems to be missing. And without wishing to question the accuracy of Wikipedia, I feel it my duty to reveal the most important, yet missing, reference. continue reading…

What links the P2P Summit in Vegas later this month and the entrepreneur of the year award?

The P2P Summit, (which by the way you should attend – see here) is one of the most important dates in the calendar but, being very honest, I struggled to see the connection between Las Vegas and P2P until I saw the announcement today about the London AIM market entrepreneur of the year award. continue reading…

This week I had the pleasure to support a seminar session run by Canon promoting their P2P offering. This is the transcript of my presentation

P2P has always been important – important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that the correct approval is given before something is bought. It’s important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that suppliers are paid according to contractual terms – and important in the sense that it’s important to ensure that the details on an invoice sent by a supplier match what was asked for and what was delivered.

But P2P has taken on a greater importance in recent years and there are three things that have put P2P in the spotlight

  • Visibility
  • Accountability
  • Automation

continue reading…

Yesterday, Tradeshift celebrated the opening of their new London offices with a reception in the heart of the financial district of Canary Wharf in London.  Set in Level39, the Fintech community in 1 Canada Square it was an opportunity to see the Tradeshift vision of the future of P2P – and, I have to say the vision is as exciting as it is dramatic which was matched by the magnificent view of the river Thames and the rapidly evolving skyline of London.

London Skyline

 

Christian Lanng’s presentation was actually superb, it really was, but there was one part of it when he made a claim that I suspect – just suspect – may not have been quite 100% based entirely in the broad realm of factuality – if you know what I mean – but more of that later. continue reading…

This is how the thought process goes for AP automation:

“Electronic invoicing could save us lots of time. We could automate accounts payable.”

“Wait – this could be to be complicated. We’d need a project manager and an expert. We may have to buy in some software or work with a third party. Actually this stuff doesn’t come free. It could cost a fortune.”

“$1 per invoice must be cheaper than the cost of a paper and manual process but at 1 million invoices per year, we’ll never justify that. Let’s make an incremental step toward automation. We can scan our invoices and handle them digitally.”

Yeah, right!

continue reading…

Something familiar out of context can have a dramatic impact

Something familiar out of context can have a dramatic impact

Joe Hyland, CMO at Taulia, recently wrote an excellent piece about industry disruption in which he highlighted three of the characteristics of a truly disruptive strategy. Essentially, Joe advises: 1. Don’t simply reinvent the wheel. 2. Don’t plagiarize an existing model and 3. Don’t make incremental changes – be bold.

I’d agree with all of that but there’s something that Joe didn’t say – perhaps because he didn’t want to blow the Taulia trumpet too overtly – so I’m going to say it for him. continue reading…

One of the issues that procurement professionals complain about is respect. Or status. “Procurement isn’t taken seriously”. “They only involve us when things get difficult”. It’s a very common issue for procurement in many organizations. I’ve seen it at it’s most extreme in financial services where procurement is so far removed from core business that it really is difficult, for what is considered by many as the the most boring of back office functions, to be taken seriously at a strategic level.

But is this really any different from any other part of business? Perhaps procurement people need to take a look in mirror and frankly, get over themselves. continue reading…