Today we are please to publish the first in a short series from Michael Wydra of REL, part of the Hackett Group
Cutting costs is a recurring and sometimes even a permanent imperative in most companies. But when firms need to slim down, their efforts usually focus on reducing direct expenditures, even though indirect spend areas provide higher improvement potential that is often easier to realise.
“Indirect” spend covers goods and services that are not used in the manufacturing of an end product or development service. This area is often referred to as “nonstrategic” spend, since it has low strategic relevance. Indirect categories include office products, travel, car hire, waste management, energy, facility management, security services, insurances, telecommunications, IT, packaging, and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) items. Because these areas are not always covered by central procurement, they may not be managed in a professional manner, resulting in a lack of visibility and control. However, these expenditures can add up to large amounts, making indirect spend worth a closer look.
Quite some time ago now I came across a P2P provider, Nipendo. I have to say, the case studies that they presented on their website were quite astonishing. I’ve seen companies brag – quite rightly – of getting very high levels of PO compliance or impressively high e-invoicing stats but when a company boasts of well over 90% straight through processing – that is over 90% PO compliance with electronic POs matching e-invoices with receipt confirmations – it’s more than astonishing. In fact, I didn’t believe it.
Some of the largest and most sophisticated businesses in the world have spent years and hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars on supply chain process and they’ve not been able to achieve this. So what is it about the Nipendo approach that allows them to achieve such impressive results and let’s be frank about this, are their claims actually true?
Today, we're deligthed to welcome another guest post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade
Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning
I often hear the statement (usually from market space competitors) that PDF invoicing is not really electronic invoicing. Yet, in most cases this statement is simply not true.
Before we get in to the details, we first need to agree on what an e-invoice is.
In response to a witty remark by the artist James Whistler, Oscar Wilde declared “I wish I'd said that”. Quick as a flash, Whistler replied "You will Oscar, you will".
I often think to myself "I wish I'd said that" especially whenever I read anything by Seth Godin. He distils wisdom into the most straight forward and frighteningly obvious observations. That's why he's a genius. The title of his book Purple Cow is one such example. The purple cow is the one that stands out from the crowd, the one that differentiates itself. This, Seth preaches, is what businesses need to do to promote themselves. Mostly, they don’t.
I’m not a marketer but I’m a seasoned marketee and from this side of the fence I can tell you, there is something wrong with the way B2B solution providers try to get their message out.
It’s accepted wisdom that to pay suppliers promptly, that is on time according to agreed terms, is fair. It astonishes me when businesses – and it seems that big businesses are the worse culprits – deliberately fail to pay on time and seem to think that this is a legitimate business practice. But it is equally astonishing to see small businesses failing to help themselves when their customers pay late.
Some businesses are their own worse enemy when it comes to being paid on time and there is a few simple steps that they could be taking to minimize the pain of late payment.