Purchasing Insight

Purchase to Pay, Purchasing & Procurement Process, Electronic Invoicing

Today we’re pleased to welcome a post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade.

E-invoicing means different things to different people.  For some it can be an enabler for supply chain finance and initiatives such as dynamic discounting. For others it provides visibility of spend and support for sourcing and rationalisation opportunities.

Complementary services and related marketing jargon have evolved hand in hand over the years but they mask the real reason why most organisations want to roll out e-invoicing:  Organisations have paper – loads of it. Most companies simply want to remove as much of it as possible from their processes to reduce operating costs and increase control and visibility.

So if the goal for most is to simply remove paper – and it’s an accepted fact that e-invoicing benefits all – why aren’t more people doing it?

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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…

On Monday morning I had what I thought was a slight cold. Sniffing, I headed to London. By late morning, it was a proper cold and by the time I arrived in Westminster for the second sitting of Stephen McPartland’s parliamentary inquiry into e-invoicing, I’d developed full blown man-flu.

This was a session characterised by contrasts. Forthright opinions together with cautiously expressed views. Good news mixed with disappointing revelations. But overall a great second session. continue reading…

MEAT or the Most Economically Advantageous Tender has always been one of the assessment criteria upon which contracts could be awarded under EU procurement law. But no longer – soon it will be the only option. A slightly refined version of old MEAT, new MEAT will encourage evaluation of the bids offering the best price-quality ratio.

This change is described by Jennifer Robinson as just one of many changes to EU procurement law that collectively represent a complete overhaul, the biggest change in public procurement law in 10 years. continue reading…

When you read the news this week that the European Union has agreed a mandate for e-invoicing you could be forgiven for thinking that the policy makers in Europe have come to their senses. They estimate that a saving of €2.3 billion a year could be delivered by streamlining the back office processes in public sector by using a common electronic standard for transmitting invoice data.

This all sounds very worthy – very 21st century, but as someone with a professional interest in this (as well as a personal stake in it as a European taxpayer), I’m less than impressed. Here’s why. continue reading…

We all know the expression “There’s always someone worse off”. It’s a form of words aimed at reassuring someone who is perhaps feeling a little sorry for them self. It’s similar to “count your blessings”– it puts your troubles in perspective.

But it’s a bit pot half empty isn’t it? Where’s the ambition in “It could be worse”? Of course things could always be worse but whether things are going OK or not, shouldn’t we be saying “It could be better. It can be better. I will make it better”. Personally, I’m a big fan of the expression “there’s always someone better off”. continue reading…

Ask anyone who knows what they’re talking about – go to any conference on Purchase to Pay and you’ll hear the same thing: The biggest challenge to making P2P work is the disconnect between finance and procurement.

I’ve commented on it many times. There are fundamental differences between the way finance and procurement see purchase to pay and getting alignment is not straight forward but there’s another reason why, for some organizations it is a challenge and that is their organizational structure.

Managing P2P in a matrix

To someone in an functionally structured organization, it doesn’t seem unusual. Indeed, if you are used to working within a functional silo, to operate in a matrix environment would seem daunting. How can you serve two masters? How can competing priorities be managed? In contrast, those that operate in matrix organizations view siloed businesses with some disdain. The term “silo mentality” is never used as a compliment. But sometimes, silos are sensible or at least non-negotiable and when that’s the case, the task of implementing P2P is especially challenging.

P2P in a matrix environment

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