Amex: Getting Serious about Spend Management

Yesterday, while I was up in Boston at AMR's supply chain and procurement vendor event, Tim Minahan was in New York, covering the American Express press conference announcing the launch of their Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) platform. Given the importance of Amex's move, I'm syndicating some of Tim's analysis from the event on Spend Matters. To read the full-text of the post, you can click through to his blog at the end of the entry.

American Express signaled its entrance into the procurement solutions and services space yesterday with the launch of the Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) portion of a future commercial Source-to-Settle (S2S) platform. The expected move follows Amex's December acquisition of EIPP provider Harbor Payments, which had quietly amassed a top-tier customer base, including ADP, Proctor & Gamble, and Saint-Gobain.

The solution automates the complete EIPP cycle -- including automated invoice receipt, reconciliation, payment, and dispute resolution. (And, in anticipation of your question, the solution supports multiple settlement options beyond the Amex P-card.) You can learn more about the new solution at www.americanexpress.com/s2s on your own. I want to focus of this post on the EIPP opportunity and how best to capitalize on it.

At the press launch at New York's ultra-hip W Hotel, Amex showcased a compelling yet realistic case for EIPP. Financial services analyst Alenka Grealish revealed the extent of the problem: annual business-to-business transactions in the U.S. now top $36 trillion. But three-quarters of those transactions are still handled manually and paid by check.

According to Grealish, these antiquated approaches hurt a company's ability to manage cash flow and working capital ...

Click here to read the rest of Tim's post.

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