Survey and quality control approaches notwithstanding, I still believe that the data in this Aberdeen brief is at least directionally accurate if not statistically significant. According to Aberdeen's recent benchmark study on supplier enablement, managing the costs of suppliers connected to a network is -- no surprise here -- materially less expensive than managing those not connected to a network. For example, the cost to process / complete a single payment for network connected suppliers is $6.28 versus $8.11. Christopher Dwyer, the author of the report, sums it up when he notes that "supplier networks have helped organizations drive payment costs that are nearly 30% lower than those of enterprise without a supplier network in place." Fortunately, it's possible today to separate out the network decision from an overall procure-to-pay or eProcurement one. And I know that Ariba and Hubwoo, among others, would be more than happy to sit down and let you know their capabilities (Perfect, another network provider, has been a bit quiet of late).
- Jason Busch