Author: Pete Loughlin

Enterprise purchase-to-pay specialist Palette has extended its partnership with ReadSoft, a world leader in document process automation, to provide advanced, closely-integrated solutions to customers internationally. The partnership will integrate PaletteArena, a complete purchase-to-payment suite, with ReadSoft’s advanced document capture solutions.  This will enable users to achieve rapid, significant cost savings and efficiency gains by automating their supplier invoice and sales order processing, from scanning through to approval and archiving.

Those following developments on electronic invoicing will be very familiar with the news from earlier this year that the rules in Germany are about to be relaxed. From 1st July 2011 the technical requirements imposed on the use of electronic invoices in Germany will be abandoned. Great! But so what! What's so important about Germany? Let me explain why it's important.

In the last 12 months or so there has been a number of natural events that have had unpredicted consequences to business. There was the Volcano that grounded Europe and created significant disruption to some global supply chains.  There was (and still is) unrest in northern Africa that made many business question the safety of their assumptions when selecting locations for low cost country outsourced operations and there was the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan with it enormous human cost and the lingering consequences to any business reliant on Japanese industry. Procurement and sourcing organizations play a vital role in helping to mitigate and manage the risks inherent in operating in a fragile global economy. Risk management is regrettably under valued sometimes but these events should have brought into crisp focus the necessity of ensuring that backup strategies are in places - not just for the routing, mundane and predictable events but also for the unthinkable. And this is why it's so shocking to have seen the massive disruption cause by Amazon cloud crash this week.

Receivables Exchange announced this week that they and Coupa - the cloud based e-procurement player - have combined forces to offer small and medium enterprises greater access to working capital through the Exchange's innovative cash flow solution. The Receivables Exchange allows suppliers to auction their receivables invoices to gain on average 98-99% of their value - according to the Exchange - and receive full value in as little as 2 days.

Charles Dominick - nextlevelpurchasing.com - recently published his top twenty online resources for procurement pros. It's an interesting list, ordered by Alexa ranking (notoriously unreliable but as a relative rank guide, there or there abouts). There's the obvious resources that you'd expect to be well ranked such as Supply Chain Management Review and Supply Management and there's no surprise to see Spend Matters and Peter Smith's  Spend Matters UK up there with Procurement Leaders. But what I found particularly interesting is the specialist niche resources that are exerting an influence.

If P2P or e-invoicing are on your agenda, you need to know about two important conferences happening this year. e-invoicing Europe 2011 happens in July and sharedserviceslink.com host their 5th P2P conference in June. Both of these are must attend events.