Author: Pete Loughlin

I can tell a lot about you just from the fact that you’re reading this. You have a professional interest in purchasing or finance or both – that’s not exactly rocket science to work that out – but I can tell more. You’re conscientious. You enjoy the  evaluation of ideas and the analysis of problems and their solutions. You respond relatively well  to stressful situations and you deal well with minor day to day frustrations. No one would describe you as self-conscious or shy. That’s a lot to deduce from the mere fact that you’re reading Purchasing Insight. But I’m right aren’t I? I’ve just described you.

We were promised hover cars and vacations on the Moon. What did we get? Luggage on wheels! The new millennium wasn’t what it was billed as and it’s a sad fact of life that reality rarely lives up to the promise. E-procurement solution promises are the same. One click, walk-up interface. Employee self-service. No training required. Turns your sandwich into a banquet! The promises are impressive but  “one click” actually means “one click as long as you’re only buying a pencil” -  any color you like as long as it’s black - and employee self-service is a euphemism for “do it yourself”.

This is the fourth in the series The World Map of e-invoicing focusing on Asia Pacific. With many aspects of the economies and cultures in Asia and the far East, it is a mistake to make direct comparisons with the West. While the eastern economies have very skillfully learned to adapt to do business with the West in a western way, the fundamental cultural differences remain and the way eastern businesses deal with each other can be difficult to fathom through western eyes. Indeed, expert analysts observe that as the balance of power tips toward the eastern economies, it is increasingly apparent that the East knows much more about the West than the West knows about the East.