Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Browsing Posts published by Pete Loughlin

It’s reckoned that more than 50% of businesses employ between 2 and 5 people to prepare and create procurement dashboards and spend reports. This was revealed just recently as an output to some research performed by Rosslyn Analytics but it will come as no surprise to many procurement professionals. And it’s not just the excessive time and resource that is dedicated to the collation of the numbers that is problematic, the accuracy of these dashboards and reports is often appalling. continue reading…

One of the key reasons to implement tight controls within purchase to pay is to ensure that people can’t steal. But when I talk to businesses about the need to mitigate against the risk of fraud in finance departments – about how it’s possible for staff to collude with suppliers or to falsify information for personal gain – I hear this response again and again: “But who would do that?”

What they’re actually saying is: “We’re all trustworthy here. I don’t know anyone that would do such a thing.” But regrettably,  the truth is a little different. The reality is that there are only two types of people – those that cheat and those that cheat more. continue reading…

I have a great deal of respect for Gartner and pay close attention to their insights and futurology. Despite that, I get a great sense of satisfaction on the occasions when I see what’s what before them.

It’s not news to me that Nipendo are cool but it’s great to see their coolness recognized by a firm as august as Gartner. Nipendo have been named as a “Cool Vendor” in Gartner’s new report “Cool Vendors in Integration, 2014” by Keith Guttridge, Massimo Pezzini, Paolo Malinverno & Jess Thompson. It means that, in the authors’ opinion, Nipendo are “Innovative, Impactful and Intriguing”. continue reading…

The 2014 Hackett Key Issues report on procurement priorities reveals some interesting trends and it’s backed up with some highly insightful statistics and analysis. The headline issue is the most interesting. The report shows that cost saving, as a driver for procurement, is diminishing in importance compared to a more strategic agenda. That might be news to some but it confirms what many of us have known for some time.

For a more in depth insight on the report, I spoke to David Rennie in London, European Practice Leader, Procurement & Supply Chain Transformation at The Hackett Group and he explained some of the findings in the report.

Hackett’s survey shows that cost saving ranks a mere 4th in the priority list for procurement. Upstaged by the need to expand influence and the need to innovate, cost saving is a relatively minor priority.

Hackett Chart


The report reflects a maturity of thinking in the procurement profession and moreover it shows that procurement is falling in line with broader commercial objectives of business.

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

The soundtrack to my formative years was the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Clash, Deaf School, Gregory Isaacs and Aswad. It was fun that the generation I was a part of had music that was revolutionarily different from previous generations yet there were still those older people who wished we would all just calm down and listen to Bing Crosby and Doris Day as though Elvis, the Beatles, The Doors and Pink Floyd had never happened in the preceding two decades.

Punk rock had woken an older generation and reminded them of how much they enjoyed their heyday. And this is exactly the impression I got today when I read that the International Chamber of Commerce is to rationalize the language used to describe supply chain finance. continue reading…

Francis-MaudeIt was announced yesterday that the UK Government will be fully supporting the introduction of electronic invoicing in public sector. Speaking at the launch of a Parliamentary Report: ‘Electronic Invoicing – the next steps towards digital government’, Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, expressed with enthusiasm his commitment to see the use of e-invoicing as part of the UK’s ‘Digital by Default’ agenda.

The venue for the launch of the keenly anticipated report was the Strangers Dining Room in the Palace of Westminster, London. I was amongst a group of about 50 people, experts in electronic invoicing from both public and private sector, who listened with some excitement to the strongest endorsement yet by a UK Government Minister of a policy to see payables processes in public sector automated in order to liberate, an estimated £2 billion per year. And despite the wealth of expertise in the room, we all would have struggled to articulate the opportunities with greater clarity than Francis Maude. continue reading…

It was announced this morning that Luke McKeever, the former CEO of OB10 and, until today, Executive Director of Tungsten Corporation is moving to pastures new. He had already transferred the bulk of his responsibilities to focus on the integration programme following the acquisition of OB10 by Tungsten and he leaves the business in the safe hands of the senior management team who are focused on, as their communication says: “meeting customer needs and becoming the world’s largest trading network.”

Luke joined OB10 almost exactly 3 years ago and was, in my opinion, directly responsible for the transformation of the business.

OB10 was a Marmite company – people either loved them or hated them. There wasn’t really a middle ground. The OB10 founders, quite rightly, laid claim to the “invention” of electronic invoicing as we know it today. They struggled in their early years to gain ground in the regulatory nightmare of Europe and Luke joined just as the market began to grow rapidly. That may have been an accident of timing but it was no accident that the OB10 corporate identity changed. Luke successfully transformed OB10 from the bad guy – the arrogant, dominant network that had a reputation of bullying and cajoling suppliers into the slick 21st century business solution that attracted the Truell brothers to acquire it in 2013.

Luke is one of those people who dispels the myth that being a nice guy is somehow inconsistent with the role of successfully leading a business. On a personal level, I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Luke. He is leaving at a time when Tungsten is progressing impressively and his legacy will prove to be an important asset for Tungsten going forward.

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin