Unless you spent all of August on a deserted beach without Wi-Fi, you know the month saw the most dramatic stock market falls since the crash of 2008. It began in China, which has seen a real market bubble develop over the last year or so, with stock prices more than doubling. Fears about an economic slowdown led to significant market falls though June and July. The slowdown also impacted stocks in August, including the companies in the Spend Matters Stock Portfolio. We lost 4 % overall last month, but that doesn't look so bad compared to the real world market crashes.
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Invoicing and Finance
On this Flashback Friday, we are looking back to another popular Ask the Expert webinar we held back in April on current trends in trade financing. Spend Matters’ Jason Busch and Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin teamed up in Ask the Expert: The State of Trade Financing Technologies to provide an impressively detailed overview of what’s happening in the trade financing world and how these events are signaling a changing market – all in under 30 minutes. Check out the full recording of the webinar and tell us if you have seen these trends play out during the second half of 2015.
Doing this monthly round-up this year has been a little depressing at times, particularly looking at the performance of the shares chosen by our Spend Matters “expert” team, which includes myself as well as Nancy Clinton, editor of Spend Matters UK/Europe and Public Spend Matters Europe, and Jason Busch, Spend Matters founder and managing director. Remember, we each allocate our own imaginary million dollars across our choice of stocks included in our overall portfolio of 24 firms that have an interest in the procurement solutions market. If you have been keeping up with our portfolio this year, you know we have thus far had a fairly rough go at it. See which companies had a good month and the many others that struggled during July.
You may be getting used to this as the opening comment, but June, yet again, wasn’t a good month for the 3 Spend Matters stock pickers. Jason Busch, Nancy Clinton and I chose our own portfolios at the beginning of the year, and the story up to now has been Nancy out-performing the 2 more experienced, in theory, stock pickers and procurement experts. But this month – disaster for her. Jason and I are neck and neck now for second place, but were also down, but only by some 3% to 4%. That means that Nancy is still just in the lead, having lost a mere 14% of her original stake, whereas Jason and I have seen our portfolios decline by just over 15%. Not impressive.
While a range of solution providers in the purchase-to-pay (P2P) and trade financing areas are offering greater flexibility on pricing models (e.g., supplier-funded vs. buyer-funded, programs-based discount uptake/adoption/transaction fees, etc.), there’s the broader question of how one can think about budgeting and accounting for investment. Of course, such a question is also linked to where a program “sits” in a company. Here, the question of centralization matters. Yet is there a “best” model when it comes to budgeting for e-invoicing, P2P or related initiatives? Spend Matters experience, especially from an overall adoption perspective, suggests that a centralized approach with centralized payment is often the best place to start rather than having individual business units drive the initiative and funding. But whether this model makes sense over time will depend on the structure and capabilities of each organization – not to mention the willingness of a corporate central structure to fund initiatives on an ongoing basis. This Spend Matters PRO takes a look at this issue – read on...
As we are approaching the midpoint of the year, we might want to start looking at just what is happening to the procurement software market, certainly in terms of the quoted companies that represent “our” sector. At the end of May, it is a sorry story for our portfolio of procurement-related stocks, and an even sorrier one for 2 of our 3 intrepid Spend Matters stock pickers. This Spend Matters Plus article provides an update on how the month of May fared for our notional Spend Matters Stock Portfolio of 24 companies quoted on various stock markets and that operate in some extend in the procurement solutions sector. Hint: May didn’t go so well…
Two weeks ago saw a material drop in Tungsten’s stock price (over 20%) – a trend that continued early the following week – only to be reversed after a secondary offering that provided support for the stock (at the time of writing, the stock price had rebounded 25% off of its lows). But the initial downward stock movement almost has seemed detached from the revenue results of the business, which the firm said would beat guidance. However, there is other news in the story – much more news, in fact, which is far more interesting than the high-level numbers, or even the stock drop or appreciation. Moreover, just as Ariba was an important stock to watch as a proxy for the sector – and which we profiled when it was independent during most quarters – so, too, is Tungsten in the supplier network and technology-led trade financing market. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis and research brief, we consider some facts and figures surrounding Tungsten’s results and how we read into them from an overall market perspective spanning e-invoicing, invoice discounting and supplier network capabilities.
This Friday, April 17, Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch will join David Gustin, editor and co-founder of Trade Financing Matters, for The State of Trade Financing Technology, an Ask the Expert webinar, open to Plus and PRO members. The webinar, taking place at 10:30 a.m., will touch on a number of topics – you wont want to miss it.
So here we are, 25% of the way through the year, and our stock portfolio challenge is heating up, just like the weather… well, depending on which country you’re in as you read this, of course. March was a decent month for our overall portfolio, which managed to get itself almost exactly back to where we started in the year. It now sits less than 1% up on the 3 months to date. That portfolio includes 24 firms that have a procurement angle to their business; from giants like IBM and Infosys, to minnows such as Access Intelligence or Rosslyn. Read on to see how our individual firms performed.
Latin American e-invoicing requirements vary significantly on a country-by-country basis. Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia all have – or will soon have – unique requirements. Traditional P2P and e-invoicing systems from SAP, Ariba, Oracle, Coupa, Ivalua and others come up short for meeting these localized requirements. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Xavier Oliver, Spend Matters P2P lead analyst and director for Mexico and Latin America, explores the challenges of localization in Latin America and how Invoiceware International has focused on solving specific country-by-country challenges.
Having and maintaining IT systems (ERP) processes and functionalities that meet government requirements of more than one country has always been a challenge for companies and providers of technology and services. Invoiceware International is the one cloud and network provider that stands out in leading the charge to untangle this compliance mess for companies operating in a single state or multiple Latin America countries. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Xavier Oliver, Spend Matters P2P lead analyst and director for Mexico and Latin America, explores localization challenges in the region and provides an analysis of Invoiceware International. We invite Spend Matters PRO Advisory members to talk to Xavier about localized requirements in Latin America.
In an excellent article last week, Jason Busch of Spend Matters and David Gustin of Trade Financing Matters took a look at dispelling some myths about 2 key players in the e-invoicing and supply chain finance market: Taulia and Tungsten. At the very same time, Tungsten Corporation announced its half-year results (for the 6-month period ending October 2014). While this wasn’t the first announcement since the firm floated on London’s AIM market in November 2013, it was seen as important because it was the first significant report since the acquisition of what is now Tungsten Bank, and the first really to show to the investment community how the firm is doing in terms of putting together its broader e-invoicing, supply chain finance and spend analytics offering.