The Rest

If P2P or e-invoicing are on your agenda, you need to know about two important conferences happening this year. e-invoicing Europe 2011 happens in July and sharedserviceslink.com host their 5th P2P conference in June. Both of these are must attend events.

CUPERTINO, California—April 01, 2011—Apple® today announced the launch of its new augmented reality device, the iPatch. Utilising retina projection display technology, the device projects images directly onto the wearer's retina. The iPatch features an entirely new way of projecting images that allows the wearer to...

I despair sometimes. There's been a couple of threads in the purchasing and supply chain media recently that seek to justify the role of procurement. There was Peter Smith's recent spirited defence, (here), of the procurement profession in response to David Cameron's naive attack calling purchasing professionals the "enemies of enterprise". And then there was the article in Supply Management "CFO focus on savings ‘does procurement a huge disservice" which high-lighted some research by Ardent Partners revealing a misperception of the role of procurement by most CFOs:

Purchasing InsightElectronic Invoicing has for over a decade promised to deliver a fundamental change in the way accounts payable operates. "We will be able to eliminate the non-value add activities."; "AP will move from being a cost centre to a profit centre."; "It will evolve from an administration function to a strategic commercial operation." Promises all made in good faith but promises that were not delivered. The challenges of the numerous tax and legal regulations across the world as well as the reluctance of suppliers to play ball have both been significant blockers. But there's another blocker: e-invoicing doesn't make sense.

A significant amount of effort - and money - is spent by procurement organisations on spend analysis. It's a complete no brainer.  Without understanding what you spend, how can you begin to manage it. Knowledge is power. What gets measured gets managed. All true of course but how do you actually derive commercial benefit from spend analysis. In other words - "show me the money!"

Purchase to Pay, P2P and Dynamic DiscountingFor Ariba read OB10 and for Basware read any number of open eInvoicing networks. It's a critical question. When embarking on an electronic invoicing strategy, do you choose an open network like Basware for it's interoperability with other networks or do you choose Ariba for the size of it's "private" network. The right answer isn't obvious but there is a right answer emerging and, depending on how the landscape evolves over the coming years the right answer might not be the one you think.