Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Browsing Posts in Purchasing Card

The amount of sensitive data on the servers of mid-to-large enterprises can be quite shocking. Included in the data could be credit card numbers. Locally storing your customer’s credit card data can be a risky proposition as your company could fall victim to a costly data breach.

Many large enterprises keep multiple copies of their customers’ payment data on old legacy systems whose underlying technologies remain solidly rooted in the 1960s.  Because these systems are transaction-based rather than customer-based, their interoperability with internal audit and accounting processes is severely limited.  To make matters worse, organizations often don’t know where sensitive data resides on those systems and have no control over it. continue reading…

Sometimes, great ideas just never take off because some prerequisite solution to a problem hasn’t been solved. E-procurement was a great idea in the 1990’s but until the internet was ubiquitous and trusted, it was slow to take off. Looking back, the trust and ubiquity grew quite quickly but in 1996, if we had a crystal ball that said it would take the best part of a decade to become an established way of doing business, I wonder whether we’d have given up. We didn’t know that the problem was trust and ubiquity until it was solved. continue reading…

It is depressing that whenever there is conflict brewing  somewhere in the world – a political or diplomatic tension that escalates to point where otherwise peaceful countries contemplate military action – there’s always someone, somewhere who says “Nuke ‘em”. The Nuke option – the answer proposed by the person that doesn’t understand the question. Instead of solving the problem, they want to destroy the problem – that way, they don’t have to worry about how to solve it. It’s not just war of course. There are circumstances in business that present hugely complex issues when it can be tempting to reach for the red button.

A few years ago I provided some consultancy support to a construction company. When I began working for this particular client, they were just recovering from the consequences of pressing the red button. They had implemented a Purchasing Card program. continue reading…

I do like an alliterative headline but it’s not every day you get to see one in Latin. Paraphrased slightly it translates as “Papacy prohibits pilgrims’ plastic”

It’s all about EU rules on banks operating outside of the European Union. The Economist reports that the Vatican Bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione, hasn’t got its act together in terms of its money laundering safeguards so that Deutsche Bank, the Vatican’s acquirer, is not allowed to provide payment services. This means that pilgrims, when they arrive at the gift shop, have to traipse to  the Vatican ATM (instructions in Latin!) and get cash out.

I wonder if they accept Paypal?

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

Ask anyone who’s worked in more than one purchasing organization. When it comes to technology, they’re not normally what you would describe as model implementations. Supplier data all over the place, catalogues out of date, Heinz 57 varieties of purchasing system. Purchase to Pay processes are very rarely joined up and if purchase to pay really is the plumbing of your organization, you’d be drowning.

But before you beat yourself up about your role in this chaos, ask yourself the question: Why is it that everything is always a mess? continue reading…

OB10 can make some great claims. They might like to claim to be the biggest and they’d certainly want to claim best. I think they can legitimately claim to be the first. But these superlatives are very much double edged. “First” also means oldest and “biggest” can mean least agile.

So how can OB10 maintain their leading position? Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Luke McKeever, their new CEO, who told me. continue reading…

The purchasing card is a great business tool. It empowers people to make purchases without the need for a complex and often expensive purchasing process. When a low value item costs less than the cost of the purchasing process itself, it makes sense to cut through the purchase to pay red tape.

But the purchasing card is beginning to show it age.  It hasn’t really kept up with technological change surrounding it. The merchant fees are excessive, in a low interest rate economy the business case makes no sense and as far as reporting goes, purchasing cards have been trumped by electronic invoicing. Is it the end of the road for the purchasing card? continue reading…