Dynamic Discounting

One of my favorite Einstein quotes is this: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. It is quite likely that, like many other quotations attributed to Einstein, he never actually said it but I prefer to believe that he said something at least a bit like it. There are various forms of the quotation: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself” or “It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid”. I studied Astrophysics at University and I seem to recall testing that last one out quite a bit. This valuable aphorism doesn’t just apply to explanations of complex issues – this also applies to products – simple design nearly always reflects an intimate understanding of user requirements – the kind of design that makes you think “why didn’t I think of that?” One of the best examples of this is Taulia. They address what is actually a fairly complex set of business issues but they’ve turned their solution into something a kid could explain. Look at this very cool video illustrating their dynamic discounting tools.

As technology matures, industries are transformed. It is very rare that a single technology inspires or effects the change. It is more usual that a gradual evolution of a mix of technologies lowers the barriers and opens up the opportunity for business models that would previously not have been worth serious consideration. There was a time when the natural gas trapped in rocks under the ground, while known about, was simply not worth the effort to extract. But develop technologies like fracking that can tap this resource profitably and the future of a nation and its power needs is transformed. If you understand the signs, it’s possible to see these fundamental changes coming and there is one such change in the financial services industry that is visible quite clearly on the horizon. A mix of technology has matured and a new business model, barely feasible until very recently, has become compelling. It’s good news for business. It’s not so good news for the banks.

I was delighted when I heard a few weeks ago the news that was made official this week that Nigel Taylor has joined Taulia. It's great news for Nigel and great news for Taulia. Nigel moves from GXS where he led the marketing, business development and strategy of their eInvoicing solutions but I got to know him through his chairmanship of the UK National e-invoicing Forum. He’s won a great deal of respect in that chair role where he’s been able to steer the delivery of some excellent thought leadership from the group. He also represents the UK at the European Commission’s forum on eInvoicing and is an executive committee member of the European eInvoicing Service Providers’ Association.

For those who don’t know them, Taulia offer one of the most compelling supply chain finance offerings around. Based on the simple concept of dynamic discounting – exchanging early payment for a discount – they help buyers and suppliers alike to better manage the cash - and the risks – in the supply chain. They have seen some amazing growth in the last few years, mostly in the United States, but now with a key appointment in the UK, they’re hoping to position themselves to do the same in Europe.

Taulia has a world-class product that gives customers a high return on their cash balances while putting affordable working capital in the hands of suppliers. Dynamic discounting is a simple model and very effective but Taulia have always had one big problem – they only serve SAP customers. Because their dynamic discounting solution is native to SAP, there’s a huge market that they simply can’t access. But now there’s a team that can access the non-SAP market – they’re called Taulia.