AP Automation

Quite some time ago now I came across a P2P provider, Nipendo. I have to say, the case studies that they presented on their website were quite astonishing. I’ve seen companies brag – quite rightly – of getting very high levels of PO compliance or impressively high e-invoicing stats but when a company boasts of well over 90% straight through processing – that is over 90% PO compliance with electronic POs matching e-invoices with receipt confirmations – it’s more than astonishing. In fact, I didn’t believe it. Some of the largest and most sophisticated businesses in the world have spent years and hundreds of thousands, even millions  of dollars on supply chain process and they’ve not been able to achieve this. So what is it about the Nipendo approach that allows them to achieve such impressive results and let’s be frank about this, are their claims actually true?

Today, we're deligthed to welcome another guest post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade
 

Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning

I often hear the statement (usually from market space competitors) that PDF invoicing is not really electronic invoicing. Yet, in most cases this statement is simply not true. Before we get in to the details, we first need to agree on what an e-invoice is.

There’s a distinct change in tone in the latest press release from Tradeshift. It’s happy. I’m not saying that press releases in the past were miserable, it’s just that I would have used other words to describe their character - frenetic or excited perhaps. And the Tradeshift team has good reason to be happy. The headline announces the $75 million investment that they’ve just secured but what is really good news for the Tradeshifters, their customers and investors is the foothold they just gained in the third largest economy in the world.

There’s a guy that wants to know how to learn how to negotiate. His friend, a professional buyer, explains to him that all he needs to do is to offer half of what he’s asked for when buying anything. Armed with this new skill, he goes off to buy himself a suit. “That will be $200 sir” says the tailor. Our negotiator responds with an offer of $100. “You drive a hard bargain” the tailor replies “but as I like you, you can take the suit for $100” Our negotiator fixes the tailor with a stare. “$50” he snaps. Realizing what's going on and keen to serve other customers, the exasperated tailor gives the suit away. “Take it. It’s free. Just get out of here” Negotiator: “I’ll have two”

Nearly 18 months ago now in the fall of 2012, I was delighted to attend Taulia's 1st customer conference in San Francisco. There was a quality turnout - small but quality. It was a cosy affair. What was so memorable was the enthusiasm of Taulia's customers. It reminded me of the pioneering days of e-commerce when the early adopters struggled to contain their excitement. At that time, the technology was no secret and neither were the techniques particularly difficult, but to those that had passed over the internet threshold and actually implemented something, the results were more exciting than they'd dreamed. We might take Amazon for granted now but in the 90's it was nothing less than a retail revolution. Remember how Dell transformed a whole industry? And of course once the secret (that was never a secret) was out, the adoption of internet based business exploded and the world changed. And that's what the 1st Taulia conference felt like. A bunch of intrepid pioneers - walking the walk while the rest were watching, waiting, wondering whether it would work. So 18 months after that 1st Taulia event - where are they now? Was that excitement and confidence the prelude to the huge growth Taulia were promising? What does that cosy crowd look like now?

Today we're pleased to welcome a post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade.

E-invoicing means different things to different people.  For some it can be an enabler for supply chain finance and initiatives such as dynamic discounting. For others it provides visibility of spend and support for sourcing and rationalisation opportunities.

Complementary services and related marketing jargon have evolved hand in hand over the years but they mask the real reason why most organisations want to roll out e-invoicing:  Organisations have paper - loads of it. Most companies simply want to remove as much of it as possible from their processes to reduce operating costs and increase control and visibility. So if the goal for most is to simply remove paper – and it’s an accepted fact that e-invoicing benefits all – why aren’t more people doing it?