Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Browsing Posts in Financial Supply Chain Management

In a few weeks’ time there’s superb opportunity to network at one of the most important events in the calendar. People from across the full range of the purchase to pay spectrum, from e-procurement and e-invoicing, through to supply chain finance and AP automation will be at the P2P Summit in October. It really is one of those events you should not miss and I’m genuinely delighted to be able to offer Purchasing Insight readers a discount on the admission price.

But you have to act quickly. Register before September 15th 2014 and you pay $795 instead of the usual $1,395 – that’s a 45% discount.

It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to meeting Purchasing Insight readers there.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE P2P SUMMIT IN OCTOBER

Something familiar out of context can have a dramatic impact

Something familiar out of context can have a dramatic impact

Joe Hyland, CMO at Taulia, recently wrote an excellent piece about industry disruption in which he highlighted three of the characteristics of a truly disruptive strategy. Essentially, Joe advises: 1. Don’t simply reinvent the wheel. 2. Don’t plagiarize an existing model and 3. Don’t make incremental changes – be bold.

I’d agree with all of that but there’s something that Joe didn’t say – perhaps because he didn’t want to blow the Taulia trumpet too overtly – so I’m going to say it for him. continue reading…

It’s not quite a revolution. No-one is fighting in the streets but the world is changing. For decades – indeed centuries, banks have wielded a power over business and the wider economy that was virtually unquestioned. The effect wasn’t always negative of course. It is hard to see how the economic growth of the 20th century could have happened without these institutions. But neither was it all good. There are anomalies in the way the economies of the western world operate  - there are unintended consequences, winners and losers. The fluctuations that occur in our economies are exploited by the banks who have a privileged central position and their actions can amplify the ups and downs in exchange rates, interest rates and stock prices. These accentuated aberrations can be very damaging to economies, businesses and individuals. But there is one aspect of the way our economies have run that hasn’t fluctuated and has always been pretty consistent – you never see a poor banker.

But now there’s a change in thinking. Some of the anomalies that we see – in particular the unfair playing field that exists between wealthy businesses and their smaller suppliers – are now being seen as unacceptable. Extending payment terms in order to optimize cash flow is a good thing only if you take a very isolationist view – if you see self-interest as the only thing that matters. If you take a wider view, you see that delayed payment hurts vulnerable suppliers, it pushes prices up and can damage an economy – at the very least it does nothing to help an economy that is on it’s knees and struggling to get back on its feet. This is why there’s been a change of thinking and ironically, it is the banks we can thank for the change. continue reading…

The soundtrack to my formative years was the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Clash, Deaf School, Gregory Isaacs and Aswad. It was fun that the generation I was a part of had music that was revolutionarily different from previous generations yet there were still those older people who wished we would all just calm down and listen to Bing Crosby and Doris Day as though Elvis, the Beatles, The Doors and Pink Floyd had never happened in the preceding two decades.

Punk rock had woken an older generation and reminded them of how much they enjoyed their heyday. And this is exactly the impression I got today when I read that the International Chamber of Commerce is to rationalize the language used to describe supply chain finance. continue reading…

Francis-MaudeIt was announced yesterday that the UK Government will be fully supporting the introduction of electronic invoicing in public sector. Speaking at the launch of a Parliamentary Report: ‘Electronic Invoicing – the next steps towards digital government’, Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, expressed with enthusiasm his commitment to see the use of e-invoicing as part of the UK’s ‘Digital by Default’ agenda.

The venue for the launch of the keenly anticipated report was the Strangers Dining Room in the Palace of Westminster, London. I was amongst a group of about 50 people, experts in electronic invoicing from both public and private sector, who listened with some excitement to the strongest endorsement yet by a UK Government Minister of a policy to see payables processes in public sector automated in order to liberate, an estimated £2 billion per year. And despite the wealth of expertise in the room, we all would have struggled to articulate the opportunities with greater clarity than Francis Maude. continue reading…

I’ve become a fan of Nipendo. Nipendo offers, in many respects, what I see as the next evolutionary stage in Purchase to Pay. Rather than simply offering clever means to automate the traditional steps in the purchasing process through things like e-procurement and e-invoicing, they offer what I think of as ‘Packaged P2P’. When I visited some of their customers recently I spent time with Eyal Rosenberg, their CEO and we spent quite a bit of that time discussing how the Nipendo platform could be leveraged to offer supply chain finance. And now they’ve done it and the press release that accompanies their new partnership with Integrate Financial explains the synergy. continue reading…

New-World-of-B2B-FinanceIt has become a cliché. Since the global financial crisis of 2008, the combination of constrained liquidity – shortage of available credit – combined with very low interest rates and the emerging maturity of technology like eInvoicing has created a perfect storm. While cash rich buyers are getting paltry returns on their cash, they can see value in their supply chain. At the same time their suppliers are cash poor and eager for affordable and available sources of working capital. Indeed, the crisis of 2008 highlighted how critical the supply chain is to everybody.

Governments, concerned to stimulate industries, still punch drunk from the worst recession in living memory, are looking at ways of supporting small businesses who are operating under the constant threat of running out of cash. It’s a tragic irony that for many small businesses the worst thing that can happen to them is to see their order book grow.

In times of economic uncertainty, cash is king and the plight of smaller businesses has been made worse by their customers extending payment terms in order to bolster their own cash position.

This is why Supply Chain Finance (SCF) is a hot topic. But what is it exactly? Ask a dozen experts and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Some will lead you to believe that it can deliver the panacea to address our economic woes. Others will explain that far from being the solution, it’s part of the problem. And they’re both right. The fact is that SCF is a complex business field that encompasses a wide range of business strategies, financial products and technologies and it’s easy to be blinded by science.

The aim of this paper is to unravel the jargon, distil complex business issues into bite size pieces and attempt to demystify Supply Chain Finance.

Download the free white paper here