Author: Pete Loughlin

We all know that procurement can be undervalued in many organizations. It's an easy target and securing investment for an innovative idea can be an up hill battle. But it's hardly surprising. Procurement aren't the best at selling themselves and they're not not the only one fighting for a share of a finite investment resource. It's not a problem unique to procurement of course it applies universally. To secure investment and commitment you have to be able to tell a convincing story. You have to know how to prepare a compelling business case but more important than that, you have to be better than the other guy. This isn't the time for courtesy. Don't be fooled by feigned camaraderie. The other guys will rip you to shreds in the blink of an eye. They'll see you destroyed and humiliated if it means they win the funding. You can't let it happen. All you need is a few simple guidelines and you can put together a winning presentation. A water tight pitch that will beat any competition. The perfect business case - it's like taking a gun to a knife fight.

There a a few eye-catching headlines that sell the benefits of dynamic discounting. "36% return on capital" for example is pretty eye catching but how does dynamic discounting really work in practice and how do you work out if it is beneficial to take say a 2% discount for payment in 10 days rather than 45? Being familiar with the value of payment terms and how to calculate it is an important sourcing skill but it is essential when trying to understand the value of dynamic discounting.

There's talk that the Amazon Kindle Fire will evolve into a phone and next year could see a Facebook phone launched as the dominant B2C players seek to protect their routes to market by adding hardware to their social networks and consumer ecosystems. It seems that everyone wants to have a piece of the mobile pie. But when Kofax announces that they've made an investment in MobiFlex to add mobile to their document capture offerings - the reasons for doing that aren't exactly obvious. What is the serious business reason for using an iPhone as a business document capture device and are Kofax just jumping in the mobile band wagon?

Ask a bunch of people what Ariba is great at and you'll get a range of answers. Some will say they were one of the great dot com success stories. Some will say e-procurement and e-sourcing. Others will say Ariba Supplier Network (ASN) and a few will even say e-invoicing. But I'd be bowled over if any said "dynamic discounting". Ariba has more customers actively using dynamic discounting to generate substantial saving for the business than anyone else but their PR machine sounds like it's still 1999.

This is the second in a series examining the global landscape for e-invoicing. The first, an overview can be found here. Of all the economic regions in the world, electronic invoicing is most well established within Europe and North America. This is hardly surprising. As economies, they are amongst the biggest and most technologically mature. They have much in common culturally, politically and in terms of they way they do business but despite the many similarities there are some very distinct differences that makes the implementation of e-invoicing in each region very different.


e-invoicing may be flavor of the month in some quarters but despite having been practiced by some of the largest organizations in the world for over a decade it remains in its infancy. Estimates vary but only about 15% of the world's invoices are transmitted electronically and the level of adoption across the globe varies tremendously. In some countries, despite the approval of the tax and regulatory authorities, take up by business has been slow while in other parts of the world, it is governments' reluctance to accept e-invoicing that is acting as a blocker.

The world map of e-invoicing

The world can be divided into four e-invoicing regions. North America and Europe together with Australia and New Zealand, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa. e-invoicing map of the world