The Spend Matters team recently sat down to digest a very comprehensive study, Creating Payment Energy – Unlocking the Value of B2B Payment Networks, (n=1,000+) conducted by MasterCard and Basware on the topic of payments from both an AR and AP perspective (see our background coverage on the study here). As our analysis of the research continues today, we will turn our attention to the impact of persistent late invoice payments.more ▸
Earlier this month, the Mastercard and Basware teams shared with Spend Matters and Trade Financing Matters a very comprehensive survey-based research study the two firms (and partners) had completed over the summer months. The study, based on responses from more than 1,000 finance professionals (on both the accounts receivables and accounts payables side of the fence), provides a very global view of where cash management and payments stand today (respondents from 10 countries are represented in the data set, and each country had approximately 100 responses). The survey participants were best represented by the SMB market segment (e.g., only 11 percent of respondents had 5,000 or more employees). In a series of posts exploring the data and findings, the Spend Matters team will highlight some of the more useful elements that the research surfaced as well as select analysis and recommendations by the authors. We’ll share some of our insights as well.more ▸
This post continues our exploration into shade No. 3 of our 50 Shades of Pay series. In this PLUS post, Pierre Mitchell discusses what happens when you aggregate all your supplier master data alongside the aggregation of your spend transaction data. According to Pierre, you will find "wonderful things" like your supplier master field names will be called different things and suppliers will be classified in all sorts of dimensions by different groups. Read on to learn more.more ▸
In Shade 2 of this spend analysis series, we looked at analyzing total cash disbursements to suppliers through the lens of basic A/P data. In doing so, we touched on the issue of data quality, and in the particular, the data coming from the supplier master file (or vendor master if you use that terminology). Obviously, if the supplier master data is bad (i.e., dirty, sparse, duplicated, non-standardized, etc.), the spend data will show it. But, the highlighting of bad data isn’t about improving data hygiene unto itself, but rather is about fixing the data problem to highlight value creation opportunities that you didn't see before. The most frequent example of this is supplier master duplication where multiple supplier records exist for the same supplier.
When you find duplicate supplier master records, you can obviously begin to see where there is additional volume leverage that you can gain within strategic sourcing. This is a key capability for justifying the ROI of investing to get to this level of capability. However, spend analysis is not just about feeding the strategic sourcing process! When you find duplicate supplier master records for the same supplier, it can lead to a whole slew of root causes that should be addressed. This includes a lack of clarity/controls in the supplier master setup process (e.g., who can add/change/delete what fields in the supplier master file) or poor “supplier discovery” inquiry capabilities of suppliers from your own existing supplier network.
Up until now in this series, much of what we have talked about can be done on your own, albeit inefficiently, but in the area of data de-duplication, cleansing, enriching, auto-classification, and harmonization, the tools can really help. But, this area is also where supplier content providers of many forms can be used (i.e., content firms, MDM providers, supplier/business networks, analytics vendors, supplier management application providers, procurement suite providers, etc.). Such firms can also assist in the de-duplication of effort using a combination of fuzzy logic (pattern matching), proprietary databases, and rules-based analyzers to help with this key task.more ▸
Auto News recently reported that Magna International, one of the top three auto suppliers based in Canada, has been rethinking its supply chain of late, noting that “local strategy and efficiency improvements as key cost-saving measures within its supply chain.” In particular, supply chain localization was one of three trends within Magna’s supply chain identified by Carrie Van Ess, vice president of procurement for the Americas, at a recent industry briefing. Van Ess said a new supply chain model is emerging in which “goods are produced, sold and consumed in the same geographic region,” according to the article.more ▸
In a previous Spend Matters post titled Does Increased DPO Actually Destroy Enterprise Value?, I highlighted some analysis where, in 12 of 14 manufacturing industries I analyzed, I found negative correlations between days payable outstanding (DPO) and enterprise performance (e.g., debt you may incur to raise cash to invest in high payback initiatives such as B2B trade financing where early payment discounts and/or supply chain finance programs are established). In this Spend Matters PRO article, I’ll dive into the industry details and also provide some additional insights based on some recent research that we conducted with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).more ▸
My old employer The Hackett Group sent me the results of their latest annual study on working capital performance (a downloadable version of the study can be found here). Hackett’s subsidiary REL Consultancy (or “REL” for short) annually extracts, adjusts, and reports on the working capital performance (and overall financial performance) of the top 1,000 publicly traded firms in the United States. For context, the average firm turnover is $11 billion in revenues and median turnover is $4 billion.
REL runs its business primarily based on a singular assumption and value proposition: Reduce your Days Working Capital (DWC) because less working capital is better for the business. Cash that is “liberated” from balance sheets can be used for stock buybacks, R&D, M&A, etc. Improving working capital is a no brainer, right? Unfortunately, this story is just that: a nice story.more ▸
In this research brief, Jason Busch and David Gustin (Managing Director of Trade Financing Matters) explore why a unique need for payment capability fully integrated into the B2B sector is long overdue. Our research suggests a strong need exists to be able to bring all disparate players together, add a real-time payment capability, and have it all make sense for buyers and suppliers in the supply chain. This is where Traxpay comes in by enabling structured (e.g., invoice, purchase order) and unstructured data (e.g., photos, pdfs, etc.) to travel between buyers and sellers to make and reconcile payments in a dynamic fashion. They bring a core banking system (funds sit with the German Bundesbank), a secure B2B transaction model and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach to the payments space. [CORRECTION: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS SUMMARY LISTED THE AUTHORS INCORRECTLY. DAVID GUSTIN AND JASON BUSCH ARE THE AUTHORS OF THIS BRIEF].more ▸
This week's Ask the Expert webinar features Spend Matters UK/Europe's executive editor Peter Smith taking a look at the 166 page Suppler Relationship Management survey from State of Flux, and the insights it contains. He promises to get controversial too, as he exposes some shocking facts contained with the survey and asks - how many people have any idea what SRM really means, let alone how to make it work? Spend Matters Plus and PRO members, we hope to see you this Thursday, 11/21 from 10-10:30am Central.more ▸
On my way home from San Antonio, I had a chance to gather some more information from a few seasoned supplier diversity managers that I know – and there’s actually a good deal more to the story than I mentioned in the earlier article. The consolidation is officially around merging several chapters – where, as I mentioned, the San Diego chapter is supposed to join with Arizona, and Las Vegas should sort under Northern California, with the St. Louis area going to Indiana, and Ohio’s two councils becoming one. As it turns out, this is the national NMSDC position, several local councils including the ones listed above have not gone along with the plan – no can do! In fact, they’ve more or less waved a stiff one-fingered New York salute and walked out the door – allegedly taking their corporate members with them. In other words, we have a split under way! This just took place, so the story will undoubtedly take on more wrinkles as it unfolds.more ▸
So far in our PRO series exploring the nuances of setting up a supplier onboarding program we’ve delved into many specific steps and elements necessary to implement an effective process. Yet achieving a level of program certainty around these recommendations and plans is not realistic prior to engaging with a solution provider – unless you are prepared to pay separately for the provider to go through the scoping and delivery documentation as an independent engagement (which can be a smart approach, and probably something that you can get at least partial credit for if you award the solution business later on).more ▸
The sourcing exercise is over, you've found a great new supplier, vetted, scrubbed, and polished throughout your diligent sourcing process - the contracting has just concluded, and the new contract still smells of fresh ink. The savings look great, so you toss everything over the fence to the vendor management team and the A/P people to get it sorted out so users can start saving money. A month later, you meet the new supplier and find out that no new business has been awarded to them, and that they are still being held up in the “onboarding” process. So, what is this onboarding process, and how can it be made better? That is the topic of this three-part Spend Matters PRO analysis.more ▸