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New York - the lights, the excitement, the glamor, the Post Office. A compelling argument for electronic invoicing. [caption id="attachment_7294" align="aligncenter" width="540"]This Post Office in the heart of Manhattan is open for business This Post Office in the heart of Manhattan - one of the busiest and commercially vibrant cities in the world - is open for business. I stood in line for 45 minutes to buy a stamp.[/caption]

OB10 has been named as a finalist for a 2013 Innovator award in the category of Best B2B Payments Innovation for OB10 Express Payments, a unique early payment solution. One of five finalists in their category, OB10 is being recognized as a leader in the payments industry. Voting is open now through March 8 on with the winners being announced during a live ceremony hosted by The Office’s BJ Novak on March 21 from The Innovation Project, a two-day program that will challenge the way that the payments and broader commerce ecosystem thinks, develops, and ignites innovation.

Travel is always an adventure and I love coming home with tales to tell of unexpected encounters and once in a lifetime experiences. In New York this week, I was absolutely thrilled to find myself amongst a bunch of paparazzi at JFK waiting to shoot Anne Hathaway. Seriously - I was in Gotham City and Cat Woman bumps into me. But that was nothing. I also got to meet Susie West.


In the fast moving space that is e-invoicing, like many other areas of business, the impressive announcements of vendors can become tiresome. Claiming customers that everyone claims - promises of new approaches and ludicrous claims about the use of bleeding edge technology that turn out to be no more than smoke and mirrors. Tradeshift's announcement of a partnership with Intuit was genuinely impressive but it's not till you hear the other side of the story - the Intuit version of events - that you get to see what the true significance is.

Over the years I’ve had some great ideas. I’ve had some pretty dumb ideas too. I’ve followed through on some – both the good ones and the dumb ones but most, I have to admit, have been left as just ideas. But it still gives me great satisfaction when I get to see one of my great ideas executed perfection – by someone else. A number of years ago, I had the great idea that smart phones could be used as purchase to pay tools. I wrote about it here. The problem of process compliance in some situations like construction sites it that it has, historically at least, been difficult to put IT solutions in place. Purchasing Cards have been tried but rather than helping to support a robust purchase to pay process they tend to remove the process entirely – the “Nuke” option. But now, everyone carries a smart phone and it’s perfectly feasible to put purchasing software in the hands of everyone, regardless of their working environment. It’s not just possible – it’s delivered, and a few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure to speak to Patrick Hopkins, CPO at Coca Cola Bottling Company to understand how they’ve implemented a Coupa solution to do just that.

UK Government procurement reform is being “stifled by departments” being tardy in moving to new central contracts based on large-scale aggregation of demand. Because of a lack of enforcement of the use of centralized purchasing of goods and services maximum savings are not being achieved. No doubt a disbelieving nation will swoon in horror at this dispatch from no man’s land, brought to us by the UK’s National Audit Office in a new report. The conclusions of the report beg a sackful of questions, the most pressing being whether centralized purchasing and contracting actually represents best procurement practice in government. Also, is the large scale aggregation of demand really compatible with one of the strategic targets of the reform programme - ensuring that SMEs receive around 25% of government business, albeit that target is somewhat cynically wrapped around with the proviso that it includes the use of SMEs as subcontractors.

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