Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Browsing Posts published by Pete Loughlin

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…

It’s not quite a revolution. No-one is fighting in the streets but the world is changing. For decades – indeed centuries, banks have wielded a power over business and the wider economy that was virtually unquestioned. The effect wasn’t always negative of course. It is hard to see how the economic growth of the 20th century could have happened without these institutions. But neither was it all good. There are anomalies in the way the economies of the western world operate  – there are unintended consequences, winners and losers. The fluctuations that occur in our economies are exploited by the banks who have a privileged central position and their actions can amplify the ups and downs in exchange rates, interest rates and stock prices. These accentuated aberrations can be very damaging to economies, businesses and individuals. But there is one aspect of the way our economies have run that hasn’t fluctuated and has always been pretty consistent – you never see a poor banker.

But now there’s a change in thinking. Some of the anomalies that we see – in particular the unfair playing field that exists between wealthy businesses and their smaller suppliers – are now being seen as unacceptable. Extending payment terms in order to optimize cash flow is a good thing only if you take a very isolationist view – if you see self-interest as the only thing that matters. If you take a wider view, you see that delayed payment hurts vulnerable suppliers, it pushes prices up and can damage an economy – at the very least it does nothing to help an economy that is on it’s knees and struggling to get back on its feet. This is why there’s been a change of thinking and ironically, it is the banks we can thank for the change. continue reading…