Author: Pete Loughlin

For those who don’t know them, Taulia offer one of the most compelling supply chain finance offerings around. Based on the simple concept of dynamic discounting – exchanging early payment for a discount – they help buyers and suppliers alike to better manage the cash - and the risks – in the supply chain. They have seen some amazing growth in the last few years, mostly in the United States, but now with a key appointment in the UK, they’re hoping to position themselves to do the same in Europe.

On the back of the extraordinary announcements over recent weeks , MasterCard and Basware have just declared another supply chain finance deal. It's a big deal and it's another sign if we needed it that products and services providing working capital support to business is one of the faster growing areas in B2B. I chatted to Esa Tihilä, CEO of Basware and Hany Fam, President, Global Strategic Alliances at MasterCard last week about this new partnership. It's good news for Basware - they now have an important new string to their bow, but I think it's even better news for MasterCard who couldn't have chosen a better partner.

I love the way Nipendo describes itself– “the leading provider of P2P extreme platforms” – it’s like purchase to pay is a sport and Nipendo’s products are like cliff diving. I saw this description in their press release today about the Nipendo guarantee – a guarantee of 90% straight through processing. That is a big guarantee, one that some, especially Nipendo’s more traditional competition might say is too good to be true. But I’ve had a closer look and I would say to anyone examining the market place for P2P solutions - you can’t ignore this. So what does Nipendo actually say?

Please forgive the contrived alliteration but it had to be done. Today, Basware and Bravo solutions announced a partnership that appears to create a powerful synergy from their individual strengths. Both best-in-class P2P solution providers. BravoSolutions' key strengths are in spend analysis and eSourcing while Basware are best recognized for their supplier network and the application suite aimed at automating procurement and AP. By combining both technologies the pair believe that they can "extend the value delivered to customers and plug the 'savings gap.” The press release issued today explains the detail:

Q4 2013 may well be remembered as the inflexion point for AP automation and supply chain finance. The synergy between e-invoicing and supply chain finance (SCF) has been recognized for some time but the reality of business is that despite the benefits staring us in the face, it takes time to put the pieces together and for it to become a reality. Software needs to be developed or adapted, marketing campaigns crafted and pilot programmes need to run their course. This all takes years. So when we see solutions emerging and new offerings launched, it’s not because everyone has suddenly seen the light – the early adopters saw the light a long time ago and what we’re seeing now is the culmination of years of effort. The OB10 deal announced last week follows two years of behind the scenes discussion. Tradeshift’s $3bn fund to support small business is the realization of a vision that Christian Lanng shared with me about 3 years ago and just this week a new player on the scene, Crossflow Payments, emerged into the fading light of late summer after 3 years of research and development.  I met Tony Duggan, the CEO, this week in The City of London to understand what they have to offer.

My good friend and opposite number at Spend Matters, Jason Busch, had the privilege to speaking to Clalit Healthcare services a some time ago to understand how they've managed to achieve such high levels of straight through processing in their accounts payable. Clalit Healthcare Services is Israel’s leading health care organizations and one of the world’s largest. It is revolutionizing the management of its entire procurement processes and supplier collaboration using the Nipendo Supplier Cloud platform. Clalit Healthcare Services is the world’s second largest HMO operating 1,400 clinics, 14 hospitals, more than 400 pharmacies, and over 800 other medical facilities. With an annual purchasing volume of over US$ 2.5 billion, Clalit receives over 2 million invoices a year issued by thousands of suppliers. Over 1,500 employees are involved in the procurement and A/P functions.

I’d grown accustomed to the sunshine that we’ve enjoyed in the UK for most of the summer and yesterday, ill-equipped for normal British weather, I got soaked, literally to the skin, in an unexpectedly heavy rain shower in London. Summer’s almost gone and there’s definitely a change in the air. It’s been a long time coming but now the convergence of demand for liquity amongst cash strapped small businesses and the supply of alternative funds seems to be happening. There was some big news on these lines last week when OB10’s acquisition was announced. There’s a few new players joining the market that we’ll hear a lot about in the coming weeks. All of this is very interesting but today’s news is quite simply breathtaking. Tradeshift signaled some time ago that they were going to be leveraging their platform to deliver some form of supply chain finance offering to support small businesses but today they’ve lifted the lid on their plans and revealed exactly what it is they’ll be doing. In a nutshell it’s this: $3 billion.