Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable about disclosing how many years I’ve been consulting in the P2P space but spending many years doing the same sort of thing does give you a rich store of anecdotes and war stories. Something I do take a quiet delight in is finding exotic or unusual items within a spend analysis. I know a bank that bought an elephant. Working for what I thought was a boring, innocuous government agency I found ammunition as a spend category. Working in the aerospace and defense industry there are things I’ve seen procured (that I can’t disclose) that would make your hair stand on end.

But all of that diminishes to nothing today.

I feel very privileged to add to my consulting client list an organization that has procured the components of the first man made object to land on a comet.

Congratulations ESA – a magnificent achievement The best space mission since Apollo 11.

And it is relevant to purchase to pay. When implementing e-procurement and purchasing process best practice it is common to confront those people that believe they’re special – above the process. They can’t possible comply with a standardized policy because what they do is ‘special’.

Well, from now on, my benchmark of ‘special’ has changed. Landing on a comet is special – anything less is now ordinary.

Pete Loughlin can be found on twitter @peteloughlin

Like buses, you wait for one for ages then two come at once. It was only a few weeks ago I was speaking to Perfect Commerce – a rebranding of one of the great names of the past, CommerceOne – and this week I had the great pleasure to speak with Deem – one of the other greats.

You’d be forgiven for not recognizing the name. Deem is a re-branding of a product that many will be familiar with – Ketera. Deem acquired Ketera in 2010 and today they’re announcing what is in effect a relaunch. In their words “Deem Spend has been re-branded, refreshed and revitalized to automate entire sourcing processes and maximizes savings for our customers on every transaction”. continue reading…

Shoppers and investors were taken by surprise when Tesco announced a £250m black hole in their profits last month. Tesco’s suppliers, however, were not.

The supermarket, the second-largest retailer in the world, has been under pressure for some time. Shoppers are increasingly turning their backs on the big weekly grocery shop in favour of home delivery services, discount rivals Aldi and Lidl and local convenience stores. These trends have hit sales at Tesco’s big out-of-town supermarkets and its market share has declined significantly in the past year. Profit warnings led to the resignation of the Chief Executive, Philip Clarke, in July. The honeymoon for his replacement, Dave Lewis, didn’t last long. In the first few days he was confronted by a whistler blower who warned that Finance were incorrectly booking payments received from suppliers related to in-store promotions.

Unfortunately Dave Lewis’s misery didn’t stop there. Recently, Tesco announced that its profits had been overstated by £263m, more than have been initially estimated and not long after, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed that it is carrying out a criminal investigation. continue reading…

When implementing Purchase to Pay, the strength of the objections to change can be surprising. People prefer paper. They don’t want to change. They want things immediately and they refuse to follow new processes. They think they can get a better deal themselves compared to the prices offered on a supplier catalog.

It’s been the same for years – decades even – and it’s that last objection: “I can get a better deal myself” that can be the most difficult because it is – or more precisely appears to be – a valid objection. So how do you overcome it? continue reading…

Today, another post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade

Let’s start at the beginning. What do we know about 26? Wikipedia – the font of all knowledge – tells me that 26 is ‘the natural number following 25 and preceding 27’. OK, I can go with this. That’s pretty accurate I guess.

But I know it is more than that. So what else?

Apparently a shape with 26 faces is a rhombicuboctahedron. But, hey, my 2 year old could have told me that… (Note to self, remember that for the next pub quiz).

It is the atomic number for Iron (also useful for the pub quiz).

But moving away from impressive ways to win £50 on a Thursday night…

What else do we know?

The 26th letter and the last letter of the English alphabet is Z. It is the length of a marathon (26 miles and 385 yards to be exact). The human foot and ankle has 26 bones. 26 is the total number of cases on the US version of Deal or No Deal.

….OK, I feel we are now slipping back to the realms of the pub quiz.

So we can see there are many interesting instances of the number 26. Yet the most important (in our eyes at least!) seems to be missing. And without wishing to question the accuracy of Wikipedia, I feel it my duty to reveal the most important, yet missing, reference. continue reading…

What links the P2P Summit in Vegas later this month and the entrepreneur of the year award?

The P2P Summit, (which by the way you should attend – see here) is one of the most important dates in the calendar but, being very honest, I struggled to see the connection between Las Vegas and P2P until I saw the announcement today about the London AIM market entrepreneur of the year award. continue reading…

This week I had the pleasure to support a seminar session run by Canon promoting their P2P offering. This is the transcript of my presentation

P2P has always been important – important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that the correct approval is given before something is bought. It’s important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that suppliers are paid according to contractual terms – and important in the sense that it’s important to ensure that the details on an invoice sent by a supplier match what was asked for and what was delivered.

But P2P has taken on a greater importance in recent years and there are three things that have put P2P in the spotlight

  • Visibility
  • Accountability
  • Automation

continue reading…