innovation Content

Nipendo Product Review: Next Generation E-Invoicing Tool + Platform (Part 2) [PRO]

As we continue our analysis of Nipendo’s e-invoicing solution, it is important to highlight the Trojan Horse aspect. For Nipendo users, e-invoicing may be at the forefront of a typical invoice automation business need at the start of a selection process (e.g., A/P might be drowning in paper having previously failed to onboard more than its largest suppliers in a P2P implementation). But once an organization begins to dig into the elements of the Nipendo e-invoicing approach and underlying platform – even before implementing it – they are likely to discover entirely new types of visibility and connectivity elements an approach like this can enable.

Nipendo Product Review: Next Generation E-Invoicing + Platform (Part 1) [PRO]

Nipendo is just beginning to build a North American presence. But we suspect these efforts will ramp quickly when the market begins to understand exactly what they have on their hands, digging below the surface of their product-centric marketing efforts to date. Let us explain. When Nipendo first briefed Spend Matters, they were all about e-invoicing. Perhaps this is not surprising, as in most cases, the business users (e.g., procurement and accounts payable) that buy technology like to understand the business impact that a solution can provide vs. the nuts and bolts of what makes it possible. But when Nipendo began to tell us their e-invoicing product story – and when we followed up with their customer references and what users were actually doing – it became clear that the “how” took precedence over the “what.”

Thinking (about Procurement) Fast and Slow with Daniel Kahneman (Part 2)

Our last article introduced Daniel Kahneman’s brilliant “Thinking Fast and Slow” book, which explains how our thought processes work. He is a psychologist, but won the Nobel Prize for economics as his work explained how humans really think and behave, which turned out to be quite differently to how that was treated in classical economic theory. He introduces the concept of System 1 and System 2 thinking, where System 1 is intuitive and effortless, whilst System 2 is more considered and therefore harder work for us!

Thinking (about Procurement) Fast and Slow with Daniel Kahneman (Part 2) [Plus+]

Our last article introduced Daniel Kahneman’s brilliant “Thinking Fast and Slow” book, which explains how our thought processes work. He is a psychologist, but won the Nobel Prize for economics as his work explained how humans really think and behave, which turned out to be quite differently to how that was treated in classical economic theory.

How Might We Drive Innovation from Others’ Assets?

Last month, Shweta Shanker of GEP wrote a dead-on post on Procurement and Marketing Collaboration. One of the many important points she made is the need for procurement to provide visibility into any individual supplier’s spend relationship, which then ensures that all possible leverage is maintained. Conversely, one might argue that marketing needs to provide upstream visibility into their activities so that procurement has adequate time to source and procure. All too frequently, marketing’s creative process eats the time theoretically allotted to sourcing and procurement. As a result, procurement is forced to provide expedient support (using the same suppliers every time) as opposed to optimal support, delivering the best possible pricing and quality for the marketing piece or program.

Advanced Sourcing: Of Market Gods and Sourcing Ministry…

If you’ve followed this series so far, you’ll already know that the types of technology that change the way we go about pursuing a particular supply chain and business outcome – not just a specific event or negotiation – can have a huge impact on the ability to engage stakeholders. It also explains why advanced sourcing approaches that are most successful on a first-time basis almost inevitably require third-party expertise to pull off (unless a procurement organization is already “up-skilled” enough with truly expert resources in both the market design and stakeholder/supplier engagement areas). One way to think about it is that the market designer is essentially playing the role of a sourcing god. The stakeholder/supplier engagement lead is the priest, minister, rabbi or shaman who preaches much to the flock and gets them on-board.

Trading “Apps” for Applications: May the Best Supply Chain Platform Win (Part 2)

So far, I’ve only been talking about this concept in a single-tier fashion. Now imagine the network or platform serving not just as the glue that allows companies to plug and play different best-of-breed applications but also as applications that sync across multiple tiers of a supply chain. Such a vision is not too radical. In fact, it is beginning to happen right now, and it will transform the basis by which we buy applications, as well as the value they create, based on the “data exhaust” that comes out of them.

Thinking (about Procurement) Fast and Slow with Daniel Kahneman

Procurement is a relatively non-academic and unscientific “profession.” It lacks the regulatory basis of accounting, or a body of knowledge that is clearly laid out, agreed and codified as the correct way of doing things. It lacks the direct measurement of sales and marketing; we may not consider these business functions are particularly scientific, but actually they provide their disciples with direct ways of measuring the benefits of what they so, through metrics such as market share, customer awareness or simply sales figures.

Another June Wedding: We're Merging Spend Matters and Spend Matters PRO

Around this time last year, we launched Spend Matters PRO, our premium subscription service. Despite not having a direct sales presence – not to mention with what amounts to word-of-mouth marketing – we managed to sign up over 50 different paid member companies through May 2013. And thanks to some new channel partnerships, that count will number over 250 this July. It’s all very exciting for us, but there is much, much more to come. We’ve held off on the aggressive push on PRO commercially in large part because it’s taken a long time to truly turn our original vision into a reality.

Thinking (about Procurement) Fast and Slow with Daniel Kahneman [Plus+]

Procurement has very little in the way of scientifically proven best practice, and not really very much even in terms of academic underpinning to what we do day-to-day. That is in part because many key procurement activities appear highly subjective and are linked to behavioural skills and issues, which are harder to analyse and study than fact-based actions. Such “soft” activities include negotiation, relationship management, and even arguably risk management.

Thought Innovation – Considerations for Supply Chain and Procurement in the Share Economy

Disruptive trends continue to shift the business landscape and challenge longstanding operations. Disruptions come in many forms (natural disasters, raw material availability, factory and line down situations), but innovative and disruptive trends are often overlooked, in particular the share economy. The impact of these trends on supply chain and procurement is not the first to come to mind, however it is an integral part of evolving models to thrive in the future for the share economy.

Exploring A/P and Procurement Best Practices at P&G: Lesson 2

We all know the flip side of opportunity. Complexity is also a driver of risk. More “moving parts” imply a higher probability of things breaking down. This makes modeling and reducing/managing complexity a key competency to staying lean and aligned across the value chain.