Author: Pete Loughlin

The world of commerce is all about the numbers. Top line, bottom line, FTEs, KPIs and ROI but, to borrow and paraphrase the words of the great Albert Einstein - not everything that counts can be counted. Royal WeddingIn London today - the streets are filled with people from all over the world - from the United States, from Germany, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and Brazil as well as all corners of the British Isles - all coming together to celebrate the wedding of a young couple. It's an unparalleled media event - The Mall is swarming with news readers, surrounded by revelers, somehow maintaining a degree of dignity as they report to the folks back home the party atmosphere. Good Morning America broadcast live from London. The feel good factor is palpable. Even a miserable old git like me that hand on heart believes the monarchy to be an anachronism that's unlikely to survive long enough to see Charles on the throne never mind William, is prepared to put his cynicism to one side to celebrate a great day. We may be in the middle of a recession but even that can't dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds. And after the excitement settles down it will be back to the numbers. The impact on the British economy of having four public holidays in two weeks. The money spent on security and the cost of clearing up.

Enterprise purchase-to-pay specialist Palette has extended its partnership with ReadSoft, a world leader in document process automation, to provide advanced, closely-integrated solutions to customers internationally. The partnership will integrate PaletteArena, a complete purchase-to-payment suite, with ReadSoft’s advanced document capture solutions.  This will enable users to achieve rapid, significant cost savings and efficiency gains by automating their supplier invoice and sales order processing, from scanning through to approval and archiving.

Those following developments on electronic invoicing will be very familiar with the news from earlier this year that the rules in Germany are about to be relaxed. From 1st July 2011 the technical requirements imposed on the use of electronic invoices in Germany will be abandoned. Great! But so what! What's so important about Germany? Let me explain why it's important.

In the last 12 months or so there has been a number of natural events that have had unpredicted consequences to business. There was the Volcano that grounded Europe and created significant disruption to some global supply chains.  There was (and still is) unrest in northern Africa that made many business question the safety of their assumptions when selecting locations for low cost country outsourced operations and there was the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan with it enormous human cost and the lingering consequences to any business reliant on Japanese industry. Procurement and sourcing organizations play a vital role in helping to mitigate and manage the risks inherent in operating in a fragile global economy. Risk management is regrettably under valued sometimes but these events should have brought into crisp focus the necessity of ensuring that backup strategies are in places - not just for the routing, mundane and predictable events but also for the unthinkable. And this is why it's so shocking to have seen the massive disruption cause by Amazon cloud crash this week.

Receivables Exchange announced this week that they and Coupa - the cloud based e-procurement player - have combined forces to offer small and medium enterprises greater access to working capital through the Exchange's innovative cash flow solution. The Receivables Exchange allows suppliers to auction their receivables invoices to gain on average 98-99% of their value - according to the Exchange - and receive full value in as little as 2 days.