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2021 Procurement and Supply Chain Predictions from the market — Basware and Nvoicepay

12/31/2020 By

Continuing our series of procurement and supply predictions, today let’s look at what enterprise P2P and financial management firm Basware has to say.

With thanks to Justin Sadler-Smith, General Manager UK & Ireland.

1. Procurement/finance technology market will continue to move quickly

We are seeing an influx of new P2P market entrants, which are mainly AI-focused, as well as quite a bit of consolidation/acquisition from the bigger players. I predict this trend will continue in 2021. The result? Buying organisations will struggle to understand the best options to meet their specific problems. It’s a potential minefield if they take the wrong direction, and therefore lowest risk becomes a key criteria. But this risk-averse approach is not an ideal way to address the needs of stakeholders. So, the procurement professionals who also become IT experts will set their organizations apart from the pack, and impress their shareholders, in the coming year.

2. Continued economic uncertainty will require speed & transparency

We will see more finance-driven projects/initiatives focused on further consolidation, cost reduction, demand management and compliance. Economic uncertainty will continue (trade issues, Brexit, Covid recovery) and transparency of what organisations have spent across all their supplier base, regardless of category, will be critical to drive informed and quick decisions. This is particularly apparent in the increase of acquisitions and mergers due to the economic downturn. Companies will need to show full auditable transparency of their spending and liability.

3. CSR will have a renewed focus

The shift from corporate social responsibility (CSR) for compliance to CSR for increased shareholder value is now understood. Customers now expect a certain level of social responsibility from organizations and some even adjust buying behavior due to an organization’s steps or missteps. With this level of pressure, boards will be increasingly focused on this in 2021 and will drive procurement/finance to provide visible evidence of initiatives to showcase in their respective markets.

4. Welcome the return of the innovators

The pandemic has brought to light many examples of procurement providing innovative solutions. This has had an impact on boards to finally realize the value procurement can provide over and above cost savings. Expect to see more high-level appointments of CPOs (Chief Value Officers) reporting directly into boards with a wider remit of spend and sustainability. The clear message here for procurement is to showcase their value now!

And continuing our coverage, let’s hear what business payments automation firm Nvoicepay has to say.

With thanks to Josh Cyphers, President.

1. COVID-19 has pushed companies toward fully automating payments

When businesses moved their employees to remote work, it became imperative that their workflows become more agile as well. Now, months down the line, businesses are still switching between in-office and remote work, and juggling processes that were outdated even before March. Automating payables enables AP teams to perform their roles from any location and works towards reducing workflow interferences caused by this year’s events.

Now that accounts payable departments are working remotely, companies are trying to minimize the trips to the office or to employee’s homes to get checks signed. When a business is at the mercy of manual processes, it takes a lot of coordination to get payments out the door. Automating their payables process will begin speeding up the process and will waylay outdated expenditures for tools like ink, paper, stationery, and gas.

2. Cash management is king

Companies are looking at the timing of payments, extending payment terms to suppliers or delaying payments. As companies start researching remote payable options, one of the items on their list is their ability to manage cashflow. Payment automation providers have become more sensitive to that over the years. We will likely see that sort of control being offered as a feature of remote payables.

3. The adoption of payables automation is a major trend

This area has potential for growth in 2021. The remote work restrictions that many companies complied with at the beginning of the year guided the realization that success isn’t always the result of in-office attendance. Some larger businesses have already begun the process of becoming remote, and we will likely see more in the future. The businesses that have yet to take the plunge will begin seeking ways to automate their processes and improve their employee’s work experiences.

Thanks to Basware and Nvoicepay, and look out for more solution provider predictions over the coming week, with an overall take on the series from our analysts at the end. See all of the 2021 vendor predictions here.

*Please note that the order of vendor predictions in this series is based entirely on the order in which they dropped onto our digital doorstep, nothing more.