Dynamic Discounting

Taulia have announced today that they have opened offices in the United Kingdom and, their press release says, they are bringing their "comprehensive suite of products to European organisations and expanding its services and operations for existing customers. In addition to the new offices, Sebastian Chilvers has joined Taulia as European Sales Director and will help accelerate the company’s growth in the regional market."

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.

Corporate cash balances are at a record high and with poor returns on treasury bonds not to mention the uncertainty generated by the turmoil in Europe, treasury managers are struggling to find a safe home for all that cash. Perhaps it’s time to look closer to home because their own supply chains could be the safest place to put their cash. If ever there was a case of not seeing the wood for the trees it this. According to Bertram Meyer, CEO of Taulia, writing in GT News, corporate cash balances of US non-financial corporations were close to US$2 trillion dollars. That’s an increase of 36% since 2009 and the ratio of liquid assets to short-term liabilities hasn’t been so high since Elvis first appeared on TV!

Some great things have come out of Australia but leaving Rolf Harris and Skippy aside, passion for procurement doesn’t seem to be one of them. Why is it that Aussies don't get as passionate as the poms about procurement? Well I'm not sure that the Europeans do get quite as passionate as Claudine Swiatek believes in her captivating article in her blog The Young Sourcerer about passion. But her point is well made that it's a shame that procurement isn't as well respected in some quarters as it should be.

You have a set of accounts payable processes that would be comfortable in a 19th century setting. Pieces of parchment passed from from the vendor documenting the agreed transaction. An original signature scrawled with indelible ink pen proving the authenticity of the document. And the legislation surrounding the processes - the laws that allow the authorities to be sure that they're getting their slice of the commercial cake, rely on these paper processes.

You think purchase to pay is a back office function? e-invoicing is a technical innovation? AP automation an incremental improvement to financial supply chain management? And you wonder why nothing ever gets achieved. P2P is as boring as you make it. The reality is though, that purchase to pay, positioned properly, can deliver commercial benefits on a scale that would astound most executives.