Category Archives: Technology

Vendor Payment Terms and the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon (Part 2)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brent Meyers, vice president of the central region for Nvoicepay. See part 1 of this series here.

Automated invoicing, electronic payments and vendor portals are where the industry is headed. It’s time to revisit vendor payment terms and look at them in this new light. When terms are too long or payments are late and people don’t live up to their end of the bargain, it affects more than just one relationship. It affects every other relationship you've got.

RFP Writing for Procurement Solutions – Stop Repeating the Same Mistakes!


RFXs of all kinds are a way of life for procurement. Buyers write RFPs often, so they should be experts, right? One would certainly hope so for the direct side, or companies would be in trouble – as well as for many indirect categories. However, in our experience, there is at least one glaringly troublesome RFP type where buyers get in the way of themselves – and that is when going to market for procurement software solutions.

E-Invoicing Programs: Stand Alone or Integrate?


E-invoicing programs and services can stand alone without connections into other systems and processes. But they can also serve as a magnifier and direct enabler for broader accounts payable (A/P) automation, purchase-to-pay (P2P), e-procurement, supplier and third-party management and trade financing programs. In considering how e-invoicing programs can augment or combine with other initiatives, Spend Matters recommends companies consider these 5 factors.

Vendor Payment Terms and the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brent Meyers, vice president of the central region for Nvoicepay.

Vendor payment terms are making headlines lately. Big firms are moving to extend terms to as long as 4 months. On the flip side, Obama’s SupplierPay initiative and Britain’s Prompt Payment Code, both of which aim to get big companies to commit to paying small vendors faster, are gaining traction. Between the extremes of cash on the barrel and turning suppliers into de facto lenders, what makes sense?

Freelancer Limited – Anatomy of a Large Global Work Intermediation Platform


Continuing our coverage of work intermediation platforms (WIPs), a focus on Freelancer Limited should help practitioners begin to appreciate the unique nature of these platform intermediaries. Freelancer Limited is a special case, as it is the only WIP that is publicly traded on the stock exchange (in Australia), and it therefore publishes its financials every half year. There are also a number of other features that make Freelancer unique, including its history of acquisitions and integrations, its emphasis on small businesses and labor in developing economies, its 3 different lines of business and its rather complex pricing structure. The dissection of this WIP is important for procurement practitioners to gain a clearer idea of the new kinds of animals they will be dealing with in the expanding and evolving contingent workforce space.

Spend Matters View: Realizing Accenture’s New PaaS Applications (Part 2)


As a follow-up to the first installment in this series highlighting future supplier network-based applications made possible through platform-as-a-service (PaaS) architectures and business models, this second post shares additional business application-type apps that future networks might deliver, including network-based contract lifecycle management capabilities, virtualized environment health safety and safety health environment management, project, portfolio and initiative management solutions and more.

How Does Trade Financing Fit With E-Invoicing?


Trade financing is a broad-based term we can use to encompass a range of receivables financing and payables financing techniques. The difference between the 2 types is relatively simple: Vendors are in control with receivables financing program, and payables financing programs are buyer-led. There are a range of common areas of trade financing programs today outside of global trade-centric programs and products. These include: supply chain financing (i.e., an uncommitted credit facility, typically with companies at or near an investment-grade credit rating), dynamic discounting, reverse auctions and auction marketplaces, buyer-led invoice finance, p-cards, seller auctions, factoring and invoice finance. For further information and definitions of these programs, download the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits.

Spend Matters View: Realizing Accenture’s Future Supplier Network Vision (Part 1)

category management

Building on my earlier post introducing supplier networks and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which was inspired by some of the thinking in Accenture’s paper, Procurement’s Next Frontier – The Future Will Give Rise to an Organization of One, when considering supplier networks of tomorrow, I can think of dozens of future network-based applications that will supplement, augment or replace existing procurement and supplier tech applications.

Here are 6 ideas for what’s possible with future PaaS-driven network applications.

How Do Supplier Management Systems Fit With E-Invoicing?

supplier management

One of the fastest growing areas of the procurement and accounts payable (A/P) technology automation market is a sub-sector that many describe as supplier or third-party management. As with the other areas we have explored, supplier management is an area that has material overlap with e-invoicing. Initiatives for this technology can support the capture and maintenance of a range of supplier management data. However, e-invoicing is not a substitute for broader supplier management programs outside of A/P-specific, vendor file-centered programs. Separate programs, which require their own workflow and systems, may include programs centered on several related factors.

This article is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits. Authored by Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, with input and guidance from Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin, it provides a foundation for organizations considering or already putting in place an electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) or purchase-to-pay (P2P) program.

A Look at the Distribution of Global Payments to Different Countries Across an Online Freelancer Marketplace Platform


Many are aware there are a number globally spanning online freelancer marketplaces, most notably, and now Upwork, the merged platforms Elance and oDesk. These platforms allow people almost anywhere to engage a freelancer, almost anywhere, to perform work and get paid for it – all virtually.

In this article we offer a picture of how that work is distributed across the globe, thanks to analysis and visualizations conducted by the Connectivity, Inclusion and Inequality Group, a multidisciplinary group of researchers based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Their results and visualization were published in 2 articles, “Is oDesk a global marketplace? Visualizing the geographies of digital work” and “Uneven Geographies of Digital Wages.”

How Supplier Network Systems Fit With E-Invoicing: The Role of P2P and E-Procurement

supplier network

Separate from supplier networks, e-procurement and purchase-to-pay (P2P) systems enable a range of hard dollar cost reduction benefits by reducing off-contract purchases, lowering purchase volume in general, improving operating efficiency, increasing PO throughput per full-time equivalent and bringing greater spend under management and lower contract rates. 

These systems do this by supporting a range of capabilities, including supplier onboarding, catalog management, supplier portal, workflow/process management, requisitioning, approval/status, order management/visibility, inventory/asset management and supplier connectivity. 
The overlap between e-invoicing solutions and supplier network and P2P capabilities can be significant, especially in the areas of supplier onboarding, connectivity and portal capabilities. Given this, it can be important for procurement and A/P organizations to decide what capabilities of which solution area they want to leverage in case of overlap.

What Happened to FMS in the Past Year? A Request For FMS Providers to Share Their Stories


In a recent post, “Freelancer Management Systems: The Origin and Destiny of a Species,” we established that the freelance management system (FMS), as a concept, is not much more than a year old. We also tried to define what an FMS actually is – in short, a digital platform for enterprises to manage the independent workers that perform work for them.

A number of solution providers have defined at least parts of their businesses as FMS. But strangely, for the most part, there has been an eerie silence about the progression of these solution platforms. More importantly, there has been a complete silence and absence of announcements about deals getting done with clients.