e-Procurement

The purchasing card is a great business tool. It empowers people to make purchases without the need for a complex and often expensive purchasing process. When a low value item costs less than the cost of the purchasing process itself, it makes sense to cut through the purchase to pay red tape. But the purchasing card is beginning to show it age.  It hasn't really kept up with technological change surrounding it. The merchant fees are excessive, in a low interest rate economy the business case makes no sense and as far as reporting goes, purchasing cards have been trumped by electronic invoicing. Is it the end of the road for the purchasing card?

There are two types of people. Those who get twitter and those who don't. It's genetic. You may or may not get why it’s important to purchasing professionals but whether you are a social networker or not there are some extremely valuable lessons to be learned from the twittersphere and one lesson in particular that some of you are not going to like.

In the facebook age, when the digital natives - those who don't remember a time before the internet - are emerging as the new generation of business leaders, thinkers and politicians, it can be easy to forget how today's business technology evolved. And it's easy to dismiss it. But knowing a little more than best practice and understanding why we do stuff the way we do is enlightening and helps inform us about the future evolution of business technology.

Purchasing InsightThe press releases from Iron Mountain recently raised a few eyebrows amongst the e-invoicing community. The announcement that they were to set up a 500 person strong unit in Europe to offer e-invoicing services to business was met with some surprise. Well, it seems, according to a source close to what is going on, that the U.S. based firm, known for it's traditional archiving offering, is coming to play in the relatively mature e-invoicing market in Europe with its eyes wide open. We understand that Iron Mountain will be bringing a number of products to the market, underpinned by a strategic alliance with Basware, one of the leading, established e-invoicing players.

A significant amount of effort - and money - is spent by procurement organisations on spend analysis. It's a complete no brainer.  Without understanding what you spend, how can you begin to manage it. Knowledge is power. What gets measured gets managed. All true of course but how do you actually derive commercial benefit from spend analysis. In other words - "show me the money!"

Mathematics is fascinating,  not simply because of its mystery - detailed understanding of modern mathematics is beyond most of us - but also because of the amazing theoretical journey that mathematicians go on to reach practical destinations. So called “imaginary” numbers had been described in...