Purchase to Pay is crucial to making promised savings a reality. A great promised saving for a particular procurement category is worthless if you can't prevent people in your organization going off piste when it comes to purchasing. And a great supplier relationship will be ruined if your finance function pays late.
Because you're reading this - you probably already know all about P2P. But do you really know what P2P is? Because depending on whether you see it from a finance point of view or a purchasing point of view you could have a very distorted view of what getting P2P right is all about.
It's a bit like a police investigation. Three different witnesses to a crime can give three entirely different accounts of an incident - so much so that the police could be forgiven for thinking that there was three separate incidents. The witnesses are not stupid and they're not lying - they simply have different points of view. And its the same with P2P.
Interviewed at the Accounts Payable Summit in London late last year, Pete Loughlin described the importance of taking the environmental impact of paper invoices seriously. But is it quite as clear cut as all that?
Make no mistake - you're not buying a solution - you're buying into a partnership.
Electronic invoicing has some major challenges: technical challenges; legal and tax challenges and commercial challenges. The success of an e-invoicing project is highly dependent on the success of your partnership with your e-invoicing provider. You could be working with them for a long time so your selection needs to be made with your eyes open.
Here are ten of the most important selection criteria. In no particular order, they should help you to understand where to focus when selecting an electronic invoice partner.
For Ariba read OB10 and for Basware read any number of open eInvoicing networks. It's a critical question. When embarking on an electronic invoicing strategy, do you choose an open network like Basware for it's interoperability with other networks or do you choose Ariba for the size of it's "private" network. The right answer isn't obvious but there is a right answer emerging and, depending on how the landscape evolves over the coming years the right answer might not be the one you think.
Now let me make something crystal clear. I'm not a fan of free markets and I'm not a fan of the laissez faire capitalism that have led the western economies to the brink of collapse and I am a fan of properly funded public services...