Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Browsing Posts in Supply Chain Finance

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

As technology matures, industries are transformed. It is very rare that a single technology inspires or effects the change. It is more usual that a gradual evolution of a mix of technologies lowers the barriers and opens up the opportunity for business models that would previously not have been worth serious consideration.

There was a time when the natural gas trapped in rocks under the ground, while known about, was simply not worth the effort to extract. But develop technologies like fracking that can tap this resource profitably and the future of a nation and its power needs is transformed.

If you understand the signs, it’s possible to see these fundamental changes coming and there is one such change in the financial services industry that is visible quite clearly on the horizon. A mix of technology has matured and a new business model, barely feasible until very recently, has become compelling. It’s good news for business. It’s not so good news for the banks.

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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? continue reading…

I’m longer in the tooth than I’d like to be but it does mean I’ve had time to gain a wide range of experience dealing with IT solution providers. But there’s some things I know that I just can’t share. continue reading…

Crossflow Payments has been building their leadership team for a few months and they continue with another senior hire. Carl Maughan has joined the company as Chief Technical Officer.

Carl brings strong business and technical architecture skills as well as solid technical leadership skills. He comes to Crossflow Payments after serving as Global Head of Architecture & Design at Euromoney. Prior to this he has been CIO of Stanleybet and has held different technical roles with Equifax and Erudine Financial Control Systems for over 15 years

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A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with Tony Duggan, CEO of Crossflow Payments, an organisation looking at alternative ways to bring together suppliers and corporate buyers and strengthen supply chains.

Supply Chain Finance is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. The old guard, the banks who seem to have tunnel vision for the very big trade finance deals, and the factors who exploit to a greater or lesser extent the vulnerabilities of small and medium sized businesses view the new SCF players with a mixture of  doubt, suspicion and (although they’d not admit it) – fear. And they’re right to. Some of the new models emerging are innovative and impressive and they promise to take business away from the traditionalists. Crossflow is going to do just that in my view. Inspired by hands on experience in industry, Crossflow Payments has taken the concept of ‘Just In Time’ manufacturing and applied it to the financial supply chain. Tony believes that this can help transform the way financial supply chains operate. continue reading…