Fast Track to e-invoicing – another innovation from Tradeshift

Fast Track to e-invoicing – another innovation from Tradeshift

Posted by Pete Loughlin in e-invoicing, Electronic Invoicing, News 03 Jul 2012

Tradeshift are known for their disruptive technology approach. Launching their free-to-suppliers network in 2010, other players have since followed suit and now, they’re making it easy for buying organization too.

Purchasing Insight logoToday, at e-Invoicing 2012 in Brussels, Tradeshift are announcing “Fast Track”. Designed to help enterprises quickly and easily launch Tradeshift and on-board suppliers, Fast Track offers a low cost bundle that will let buying organizations implement the system with little risk and provide the ability to grow and scale easily.

The bundled Fast Track package promises to allow companies to onboard an unlimited number of suppliers and will support the exchange of 25,000 documents per year all for a low cost, all inclusive, flat rate. Fast Track will also allow suppliers to take advantage of CloudScan, a product that eliminates the need for manual input of invoices received via email, PDF or paper.

Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Hjorth explains the benefits of Fast Track: “Navigating the current landscape of e-invoicing solutions can be tricky. We want to show enterprises that Tradeshift is the solution best designed to handle all their B2B networking needs easily, and cost effectively. Tradeshift takes the pain out of on boarding. By offering Tradeshift through the Fast Track bundle we have removed any hurdle or risk involved in exploring what Tradeshift can do. We challenge companies to give it a try, to see for themselves, just how easy, yet powerful the Tradeshift Network is.”

It’s a competitive market place and Tradeshift today retain the agility advantage. They are still seen as the new kids on the block by many organizations but their continued determination to innovate will stand them in good stead.

  • enrico camerinelli July 3, 2012 at 8:51 am /

    I like Tradeshift and their strategic approach to the market. One thing though leaves me doubtful: the benefits to run electronic invoices are definitely on the buyer’s side. As matter of fact Tradeshift’s value prop is to ease supplier onboarding. If we look it from the supplier’s side, however, isn’t e-invoicing creating more problems than solutions? I mean, if I’m an SME and serve various large buyers, odds are than just a few of them will ask me to send e-invoices, while the others will stick to the ordinary manual/non electronic channels. so now I have to split my invoice process management into electronic and non-electronic. Things would be better off if ALL my clients/buyers would opt for e-invoicing, but that’s most unlikely at least in the short term.
    I know that’s the angle Tradeshift is taking (i.e., facilitate supplier onboarding to get more buyers opt for e-invoicing) but would like to have more specifics.

    Enrico

  • Christian Lanng (CEO Tradeshift) July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am /

    Hi Enrico,

    Great comment. Regarding the supplier value I could not agree more, that is why we with Tradeshift provide suppliers with a full business solution, not just a portal to send invoices to a one customer, they can use Tradeshift for all their customers, including those who are not on Tradeshift yet. That way you won’t have to split your invoice management. In fact you could say that most SME’s get a free billing solution with Tradeshift. As for the larger suppliers we offer free SFTP/FTPS integrations and much more to ease the process of integration.

    Pete: One thing to mention in connection with this article is that with Fast Track we really aim to create a truly transparent pricing model, for way too long e-invoicing have been sold without any transparency on the buyer side of what they are getting, typical contracts run 2-4 years. With subscription pricing we are changing that model forever, we will only earn money in the long run if we deliver value and that way our incentives are fully aligned with the buyer (unlike some of the competition)

  • Paul Turner July 3, 2012 at 9:57 am /

    Hello Christian and Enrico,

    Thank you both for insightful and interesting blog/comment. I enjoyed reading them both!

    I think that Tradeshift is offering a great service to help suppliers make the shift to E-Invoicing and to make it as easy and ‘pain free’ as possible.

    I would agree completely with you both that the advantages are greater for the buyer than the seller, although I have made the point elsewhere that it is easy to over state the differential between them and I believe that Bruno Koch at Billentis comes closest to the ‘actual’ percentage savings buyer to seller of 63%/57%.

    Enrico, your concerns about splitting the invoice processes are very common and very real. There are a broad range of suppliers, however, who provide services to solve this issue by providing a single (electronic) channel and ‘print & post to those not accepting the ‘e’ version.

  • john mardle July 4, 2012 at 9:04 am /

    Great thread of comments and totally agree with them all, however there may be a need to understand the ‘legal’ implications should the whole system become ‘affected’ infected’ and crashes to the point that ‘back up’ processes are needed to manually send all invoices affected.The impact of such a crash on ‘relationships’ is another area where ‘value’ will be hard to determine whether it be financial or ‘brand’ orientated.

    No easy answer but this is untested areas that need to be taken into account.

  • Paul Turner July 4, 2012 at 10:00 am /

    Thanks John.

    In light of all the recent ‘crashes’ (LinkedIN, Sony, etc.) and the affected/infected results – a very real concern.

    In the Public Sector environment here in Australia, concerns over data sovereignty, data availability, privacy and disaster management are taken very seriously. In relation to E-Invoicing though, I often ask my clients (with regard to data availability) “what are the risks involved in the system ‘crashing’?” In fact the risks are very small given the ‘transition out’ pathways…all that happens is that organizations start sending paper again and receiving paper again. Not really a big risk is it?

    Of course the data sovereignty, privacy and disaster recovery issues are a little different.

    Here, our highly secretive ‘Defence Signals Directorate’ (DSD) publish recommendations for Government on ‘cloud-based’ solutions, as do our much less secretive ‘Australian Government Information Management Office’ (AGIMO) – although AGIMO is almost exclusively engaged in ‘procurement’ not policy. In short though, DSD say that any data not already in the public domain should (generally) not be pushed to the ‘cloud’. I suspect that this highly conservative view will change over time though. In questioning this approach, I would once again ask “What are the risks?”

    If Australia declared war on the US or the UK tomorrow (i.e. where the ‘cloud-based’ data resides) – yes, they would be able to ‘turn the switch off’, and access procurement related data. But really, what do we care if the US Government (in the very brief war!) gained access to Australian Government procurement data? So what if they find out that the ‘Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation’ and the ‘Australian Egg Marketing Board’ (both real agencies by the way!) are both buying the same brand of toilet paper at different prices?

    Highly sensitive procurement documentation has never been sent ‘the old fashioned way’ and likewise will probably never be sent via an E-Invoicing service provider, so no ‘Top Secret’ military hardware purchases are going to become broadly known; well, not through that mechanism anyway (i.e. data intercept via E-Invoicing network).

    Yes, relationships would be affected if the E-Invoicing system ‘collapsed’. A catastrophic event big enough to do it though would be creating much bigger issues than ‘relationship’ ones…

    In any case, there may actually be some advantages to the ‘worst case’ happening…I’m sure our ‘Grains Research and Development Corporation’ would simply love to know that they are paying too much for their toilet paper – and even more importantly; paying more than the ‘Egg Marketing Board’!

    Cheers, Paul

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