Author: Pete Loughlin

The problem with start-ups is they’re start-ups. For large organizations, it’s a difficult choice to go with a relatively new business even if their business model stacks up, which makes securing new business doubly difficult. And it makes the early years of a start-up the most challenging. Investors and industry observers know this and slow growth and moderate sales figures are expected but even with a great proposition, world class marketing and favourable write-ups from bloggers and analysts, there comes a point when the business model needs proving. We need to taste the pudding. Which is why we’re delighted to see the latest announcement from Tradeshift.

There’s been something in the air all year electronic invoicing. There has been before but this time it’s different. Exciting developments in Latin America as government mandate its use and European government following suit. The market research conducted by Paystream Advisors in collaboration with Purchasing Insight shows some exciting growth evidence (some of which will be presented at EXPP in Berlin in a few weeks) and it’s all backed up by an increasing number of new win announcements, the latest of which comes from OB10. It has just been announced that Australian building products company CSR has selected OB10,  to offer electronic invoicing to its 10,000 suppliers.

This is the year for e-invoicing. It’s been said every year for the last decade at least. But what’s the reality? If you refer to marketing texts you’ll find that the innovators and the early adopters make up something like 15% of the market. You don’t get to see mass adoption of a disruptive technology until the early majority start to take a new idea on board, but once it does, we see a the tipping point. There’s no going back and the world changes. And for the last 10 years the tipping point for e-invoicing has been just around the corner. Is this year any different?

So you think DPO is important? Well it is of course but manging it effectively comes at a price and it may be higher than you think. DPO (days payables outstanding) is an imoportant KPI for AP people but in many cases there is a hidden cost in keeping DPO figures high. It's the often significant opportunity cost of not taking discounts.

Capture technology is old right? Scanning business documents for archiving, processing and workflow is at least a 20 year old way or working. And as we increasingly use email and electronic messaging, our reliance on paper for business is diminishing. So capture as a business technology has no future. Right? – Wrong. Capture is alive and thriving and, as a recent Forrester report explains, it’s got a bright future.