Electronic Invoicing

It's been over a decade since the e-business machine was mobilised and it began to evangelise the use of the internet to deliver supply chain efficiencies. There were some big claims made about how much public sector organisations could save - some of which were valid, others a little optimistic - and despite scepticism in some quarters, the UK government, like most across the world, recognised that the new purchase to pay solutions that were emerging could deliver significant value.

Need a compelling reason to move to e-invoicing? Building a business case or developing a communication plan for it? Or just trying to evangelise electronic invoicing around your organisation? It's so much easier if you can distill down the complexity into easily digestible succinct messages. And that's why we love this infographic from Tradeshift.

Recently, we published a piece about the e-invoicing opportunity that the bank have been ignoring. You can read it here. It was met with a large and polarized response. There were those that agreed wholeheartedly that the banks appear to have ignored e-invoicing, those that believe they've done so with good reason and those that believe the banks have responded to the opportunity. I was especially pleased and flattered that both Jason Busch and Peter Smith - men whose opinion is always worth listening to - took the time to pen robust arguments, one in support and the other disagreeing with the views expressing in Purchasing Insight. It is true that the banks have explored e-invoicing, JP Morgan and RBS are just two examples. But the investment is paltry compared to the investment made daily in other parts of the banking world. The opportunity that they're missing is not the one about jumping on the increasingly attractive bandwagon of P2P - that's the B2B and technology innovators game. The opportunity they are missing is the opportunity to destroy their transaction business - before someone else does it for them.

The problem with a fast moving market is knowing when to jump on and just as important, when to jump off. If only we had a crystal ball! Electronic invoicing is a bit like that at the moment - whether your organisation has a mature e-invoicing programme or not, it's incredibly useful to know what the rest of the market is doing - your competitors, your suppliers and your customers. That's why it's important that you support this research.

The banks have known about the e-invoicing opportunity for years. More than one global bank was seriously investigating the concept as a means of generating transaction revenue before the turn of the century. Why is it then that over 10 years later do we still have no bank-led e-invoice offering and why have the banks elected to ignore what is a potentially serious threat to their core business?