The Rest

People still debate whether social media and twitter in particular is a useful business tool for purchasing and finance people. There is still the perception that twitter is all about celebrities and politicians using it as a vehicle for self publicity. Well it is that but it's much more too and as more and more people embrace twitter in their professional lives, it can be difficult to know who is best to follow and why. Now, if you are still skeptical, there's a great paper that will help you out.

I caught up with Bertram Meyer, CEO of Taulia in Grand Central Station, New York yesterday. He was in a rush, on his way to JFK to catch a flight, so we only had 15 minutes but it was a fascinating 15 minutes. I say Grand Central Station - Bertram was in Grand Central Station, I was in my office speaking to him over the phone but that doesn’t sound quite as exciting. I was speaking to him because I wanted to know more about Taulia’s new UK presence, what the rationale was behind opening an office in the UK and most interesting of all, the timing.

We all know that procurement can be undervalued in many organizations. It's an easy target and securing investment for an innovative idea can be an up hill battle. But it's hardly surprising. Procurement aren't the best at selling themselves and they're not not the only one fighting for a share of a finite investment resource. It's not a problem unique to procurement of course it applies universally. To secure investment and commitment you have to be able to tell a convincing story. You have to know how to prepare a compelling business case but more important than that, you have to be better than the other guy. This isn't the time for courtesy. Don't be fooled by feigned camaraderie. The other guys will rip you to shreds in the blink of an eye. They'll see you destroyed and humiliated if it means they win the funding. You can't let it happen. All you need is a few simple guidelines and you can put together a winning presentation. A water tight pitch that will beat any competition. The perfect business case - it's like taking a gun to a knife fight.

I'm really looking forward to speaking on the dos and don'ts of e-invoicing at the 5th annual P2P conference in Amsterdam next week. It's a relatively small conference but some of Europe's leading P2P practitioners will be there either speaking or as delegates.

There was an astrophysicist, a physicist and a mathematician on a train traveling from England to Scotland. They see a black sheep in a field as they cross the border. The astrophysicist says "all the sheep in Scotland are black". The physicist says "some of the sheep in Scotland are black". The mathematician says "At least one sheep in Scotland is black - on at least one side". Interpreting what we see on limited evidence is always a risky business so let's not get too concerned at Augusts PMI numbers.