There is a major opportunity for cloud-based, e-commerce platforms to leverage seller-centric distributor finance with OEM manufacturers. This ‘alternative version’ of distribution finance is also suitable for many industries, as David Gustin, editor and co-founder of Trade Financing Matters, recently wrote in an article on Spend Matters, OEM Distributor Finance: The Next Frontier. Yet it’s an opportunity too few are taking advantage of.
The Procurement Financials Category
Reverse factoring programs require a careful internal process orchestration that must include procurement, accounts payable, treasury and executive leadership to be successful. During an outstanding panel discussion led by The Trade Advisory’s Tony Brown at the CFA’s Supply Chain Finance/Factoring World event in Miami last week, two panelists, Kyriba’s Eric Riddle and Wells Fargo’s Stephen Elson, provided contrasting examples of what successful and poorly performing reverse factoring programs look like.
In the first installment in this series, we provided our own recent history lesson on Taulia and how it got to where it is today — and the crossroads it currently faces from a strategy perspective. As we wrap up our Spend Matters PRO update on Taulia, we explore a number of specific areas of its business today, including a deep dive into its SCF+ offering, a tech-enabled and simplified approach to reverse factoring for the long-tail supplier masses instead of just large vendors. We also explore how Taulia is currently positioning itself today as it engages customers and how, on many levels, its core offering is a Trojan horse for what it really wants to sell with partners (but why that foot in the door with procurement, IT, accounts payable and treasury is an important as a first step and how these different worlds are converging). Granted, it would be easy — and not incorrect — to observe that the broader e-procurement market and purchase-to-pay (P2P) market remains distinctive from Taulia’s core sector today. Yet going forward, one can make the case that the worlds of generic (indirect) and category-specific buying, transactions, financing and payment will come together. And this is where understanding Taulia's emerging strategy matters.
As our journey to world-class e-invoicing continues in this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, we discuss five additional elements to diagnose the overall scope, capability and coverage of your e-invoicing deployment — and whether or not your solution provider(s) can enable you to get to world-class levels of performance. If you want to catch up on this series, we encourage you to learn about all the components of the first five elements (invoice capture, collaboration/workflow, matching, compliance/validations and mobile enablement) and a broader introduction to the topic in first installment of this series. Finally, we invite Spend Matters PRO practitioner and consulting advisory clients to reach out to us to discuss their existing and planned deployments. E-invoicing is far more complex a solution area to analyze than e-procurement, in large part because solution capabilities and organizational requirements show so much variation compared with each other.
At Taulia Connect Tuesday, Hackett’s Amy Fong provided an overview of dozens of various Hackett Group metrics and benchmarks spanning procurement, accounts payable, treasury and related areas. Hackett is increasingly delving into certain aspects of technology as well in its survey work, including the usage of supplier networks to support the source-to-pay process.
The Funniest CPO in the Business is Dead Serious About E-Invoicing and the Financial Supply Chain: Taulia Connect Dispatch
Yesterday, I tweeted from Taulia Connect that Tom Mathis, head of procurement at of Milliken (he calls himself chief sourcing officer) is the funniest CPO on the planet. He is in the wrong line of work. Seriously, he’s Seinfeld/Larry David funny. Mathis spent 45 minutes keeping the crowd on their toes with a bunch of one-liners — in addition to telling a great story of procurement, accounts payable and treasury improvements at Milliken.
In this Spend Matters PRO series, we explore what makes run-of-the-mill electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) implementations different from those that are transformative and capable of aligning procurement and accounts payable (A/P) with broader business outcomes and metrics. In this analysis, we delve into topics that are important for procurement and A/P teams to discuss with their solution providers — and prospective providers — to enable a world-class e-invoicing deployment on their terms. Note the italics: No two organizations are alike, and “fit” will always be unique.
Earlier today, Hackett’s Amy Fong gave a phenomenal talk, taking the audience on a journey through a range of Hackett purchase-to-pay (P2P), treasury and payables benchmarks, KPIs and recommendations. I’ll cover a number of the highlights from the presentation in a separate post, but I wanted to share one quick highlight that jumped out at me. It’s a radical finding: In a 2015 Hackett Payment Practices Poll, the firm found that treasury departments primarily want to implement solutions “to provide supplier financial liquidity rather than direct working capital improvements.”
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Paul Blake, of GEP.
Sometimes the certainties in life can suddenly seem anything but. We’re not talking here about the classical “death and taxes” certainties attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but those things known to be “just so,” turning out to have a surprising degree of fuzziness about them. Take the geometry we all learn at school. Despite however many intervening years there may be between school days and the present, I’d wager a good percentage of procurement professionals could still offer an instant answer when asked for the formula for how to calculate the circumference of a circle.
While many organizations believe that savings originates from a good contract, it really comes from good execution. A negotiated rate reduction of 5% is just a hypothetical savings number if the organization fails to implement and then capture the savings in practice. On average, Spend Matters research suggests that companies typically do not capture 30% or more of negotiated savings. There are a variety of reasons for this, including maverick spend and expedited shipping, but a big reason is simply overspending based on a failure to align functions and systems.
In this final edition of our spend compliance miniseries, we get into some implementation considerations for spend compliance. There is no perfect prescribed pathway for the compliance analytics highlighted in this series. And spend compliance itself sits within a much broader evolution in a journey from forensic “spent analysis” to predictive strategic supply analytics as shown below. In a perfect world, spend flows to suppliers, such that the processes and spend are both compliant with rightsized controls and contracts designed cross-functionally to optimally meet policies derived clearly from customer, shareholder, and regulatory requirements. But it’s not a perfect world. And it’s complicated.
Finance and Procurement: Let’s Talk Savings From E-Invoicing, Supplier Performance and Vendor Intelligence
One of the best ways to insure savings is to install an electronic invoicing system that can match invoices to goods receipts and to purchase orders or contract rate tables. Then, when an invoice comes in, the system can automatically verify that the goods have been delivered and have been billed at an appropriate rate.
Please also see the first and second parts in this series.