Author: Pete Loughlin

The global economic crisis is bad enough and forcing business to work with their hands tied behind their backs isn’t helping. The failure of the dominant western economies, the US and Europe in particular, to encourage better business processes is testament to their lack of vision, their ignorance and their weakness. While their economies are crumbling, their governments’ paranoid insistence in archaic and bureaucratic  record keeping is allowing competing economies to take leaps ahead.

People still debate whether social media and twitter in particular is a useful business tool for purchasing and finance people. There is still the perception that twitter is all about celebrities and politicians using it as a vehicle for self publicity. Well it is that but it's much more too and as more and more people embrace twitter in their professional lives, it can be difficult to know who is best to follow and why. Now, if you are still skeptical, there's a great paper that will help you out.

If you had a crystal ball for your business, would you use it? Of course you would. And what if it said that within the next decade, you’d be filing for chapter 11 protection and putting your patents – the core assets of your business – up for sale in an attempt to salvage something? You don’t need a crystal ball to see that the expected growth in electronic invoicing is going to send a few businesses - big names, healthy and substantial businesses – down exactly this route. Businesses who grew to support their customers in a paper world – a world that is disappearing rapidly – simply won’t survive the decade unless they make major adaptations to the way they work.

Ready for the new year, Patrick Harbin has published and amazing 50 ways to reduce costs in accounts payable.  They say about new year’s resolutions that you should ensure they are achievable so for those that think 50 major change management  programs in one year - that’s 1 per week – is a little too much, you might want to consider the first 5 because we think the first 5 are the best 5.

We started the new year with a conversation with Christian Lanng, CEO of Tradeshift who explained his grievances with OB10. They are numerous but they all boil down to one thing – interoperability. The arguments can become complex but at a simplistic level, there are e-invoicing vendors that embrace and encourage interoperability and openness between networks claiming it is best for customers and there are those that prefer not to having invested substantial sums on the infrastructure of their own networks. As an objective observer, what do we think? Which side of the interoperability fence would Purchasing Insight sit on? Actually, neither, because there isn’t a fence.

Tradeshift appear to have a love/hate relationship with OB10 – although I think they may be in denial about the love part. And this is why I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I spoke to Christian Lanng, CEO of Tradeshift about his views on OB10. I expected Christian to be forthright and he didn’t disappoint so I’m pleased to present the conversation as it happened. There’s a bit of journalistic license in what follows but in essence this is our conversation. I make no judgment on Christian’s views. Some of it I agree with some I don’t but I’ll leave my detailed comments to a separate article.

A few weeks ago in a blog post, I teased Christian Lanng, CEO of e-invoicing firm Tradeshift. “I get the feeling that Christian doesn’t like OB10”, I wrote. “Is it just me?” Tradeshift and OB10 are competitors so I would expect they would have different views but I get the feeling that Christian’s feelings about one of his competitors is a little more than professional. So when he offered to explain his views to me, I was more than interested.