The Finance Category

Using Information Advantages to Finance B2B transactions

We've all heard the stories around how supply chains are digitizing. A real transformation is underway, no doubt. But transformations don’t happen overnight. Likewise, traditional forms of financing supply chains still dominate. Many new models of lending have emerged over the last few years that rely on the approved invoices and third-party money, and while some models have generated volume, these pale in comparison with total B2B transactions. This is not to say there are not failures. In fact, the innovations that have been tried and failed lead to further innovation, piggybacking off of lessons learned. 

Using Contract Management to Drive Cross-Functional Digital Transformation

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Contract management is a critical enabler to digital transformation. By digitizing a business’ contracts, procurement organizations can unlock numerous benefits, from spurring enterprise agility to reducing compliance risks to improving working capital metrics. But achieving such improvements won’t happen alone. Procurement will need to enlist its cross-functional partners in sales, legal and finance to expand a digital contract transformation from a confined functional capability to an enterprise-wide program.

APEX Analytix: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

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APEX Analytix is far more than just a recovery audit and spend analysis software provider. It’s also a specialist in supplier management. This third and final installment of our Vendor Snapshot covering APEX Analytix’s supplier management solution provides a SWOT analysis of the company along with a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also offers recommended shortlist candidates that can serve as alternative vendors to APEX, complete with solution selection guidance. Finally, this research brief provides summary analysis and recommendations for organizations considering APEX for supplier management. 

For background on APEX, we encourage you to review Part 1 of the series, which provided an in-depth look at APEX and its supplier management solution, and Part 2, which gave a detailed analysis of product strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the its user experience.

APEX Analytix: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

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Better known for its broader portfolio of recovery audit, overpayment and self-audit software, APEX Analytix also offers a specialized supplier management solution. APEX provides unique, out-of-the-box capabilities that support core supplier information management (SIM), validation and financial controls, as well as working capital optimization solutions. In addition, its supplier management solution delivers the broader configurability, workflow, rules, analytics, supplier portal and associated capabilities one would expect from supplier management software.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores APEX Analytix’s strengths and weaknesses in the supplier management area specifically, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering APEX Analytix. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

APEX Analytix: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

If you were to pick a single procurement software category that is remaking itself from the inside out thanks to technology, the recovery audit market would be it. And one provider at the vanguard of this transformation is APEX Analytix. APEX Analytix, a Spend Matters Provider to Watch since 2015, is perhaps best known for its core accounts payables (AP) recovery audit business. But it is a broad-based procurement technology provider in its own right, offering a range of overpayment prevention and self-audit software, supplier information management and supplier portal solutions.

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series, we will focus our analysis of APEX Analytix on its supplier management solution, which will be featured for the first time in the Q3 2018 Supplier Management SolutionMap. APEX Analytix’s solution, which is best-in-class when it comes to certain areas of financial information management and validations, deserves to be considered on a standalone basis.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an overview of APEX Analytix, focusing on its supplier management solution capabilities. It provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore APEX Analytix on a stand-alone basis in this area. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider APEX Analytix. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

U.S. Companies Improve Working Capital Performance — But Is It at the Expense of Suppliers?

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U.S. companies’ working capital performance is at its strongest since 2008, according to The Hackett Group. However, this is in large part a result of companies shifting their working capital burden on to their suppliers by extending payment terms. The average days payable outstanding in 2017 was 56.7 days, 3.4 days more than in 2016. This data comes from The Hackett Group’s 2018 U.S. Working Capital Survey of the 1,000 largest non-financial companies with headquarters in the U.S.

From Artificial Intelligence to Financial Intelligence: Leveraging AI to Strategically Transform Finance Teams

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Laurent Charpentier, chief innovation officer and COO at Yooz North America.

When we talk about AI, we immediately think about what we use every day, such as virtual assistants or chatbots (e.g., Siri or Cortana), smartphones that identify us through fingerprint or facial recognition, cars that are able to detect pedestrians and to park themselves (often better than humans do). We also think about computers that recognize and analyze documents automatically. But AI is also widely present in the business environment, and has even made its way into finance departments.

Tradeshift: What Makes It Great (Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

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There has been no greater transformation from a vendor in the procurement and finance software sectors than Tradeshift’s growth in recent years. Within the solution category Spend Matters terms invoice-to-pay — which includes accounts payable (AP) automation, e-invoicing, receivables and payables financing, supplier networks and related capabilities — Tradeshift is now one of the top-performing vendors based on demonstrated technology capability in the Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap.

Tradeshift has differentiated its invoicing and payments solutions in a number of functional areas. As the Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap illustrates, Tradeshift delivers above-the-benchmark functional capability in over 80% of the requirements that Spend Matters tracks. Its SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that the provider is a must-shortlist candidate for all invoice-to-pay buying scenarios.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Trade and Geopolitics Top U.S. Businesses’ Global Expansion Worries, Survey Finds

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Geopolitical uncertainty, trade disputes and compliance issues are top of mind for U.S. businesses with an eye on global expansion, whether that’s opening new international offices, expanding the supply chain or acquiring non-U.S. businesses. These findings come from a recent study by Tipalti and Censuswide Research, surveying more than 500 decision-makers at mid-sized U.S. businesses on challenges they’re facing in during international expansion efforts.

Taulia: What Makes It Great (Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Editor’s note: This “What Makes It Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribersbut Taulia has generously agreed to support access for readers who are not yet members.  

Taulia originally led the way nearly a decade ago as the first standalone dynamic discounting (and invoice-to-pay) technology provider to build material traction on its own, primarily selling into the SAP customer base (owing to tight technical integrations with SAP ECC). Flash-forward to today, and Taulia has expanded from its roots into a broad-based trade financing (receivables and payables financing) and invoice-to-pay specialist that integrates with a range of popular ERP and source-to-pay systems. It also brings third-party capital and funding options to the table (bank, multi-bank and non-bank).

As a specialist in the invoice-to-pay market, Taulia differentiates itself in a number of functional/solution areas and is capable of selling both “plumbing” (i.e., technology in support of invoice-to-pay) and outcomes (e.g., business value through working capital improvement). As the Spend Matters Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap illustrates, Taulia delivers above-the-benchmark functional capability across these and dozens of other key requirements. Its SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence that the provider is a must-shortlist candidate for the majority of invoice-to-pay buying scenarios.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

China’s E-Invoicing March and Why It Matters

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post form Adam Cleveland, vice president of demand generation at Tradeshift.

Often, government reforms force businesses to adjust their business processes for compliance reasons. China’s VAT reform not only impacted processes related to tax compliance, but it also opened up business process and supply chain redesign discussions to enable higher productivity, better security, enhanced transparency and managed risk. This article addresses the e-invoicing environment China inherited, what’s happened in China with respect to VAT reform and e-invoicing, and why it matters to businesses across the globe.

Tradeshift vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

In its early years, Tradeshift was a thorn in the side of SAP Ariba in a handful of strategic accounts. More recently, as Tradeshift transitioned from operating at least in part (previously) on the PowerPoint platform to its own, the provider has emerged as more than just a credible threat and is now an everyday competitor to SAP Ariba, Basware, Coupa and many others.

Tradeshift has real, proven capability today. Through the Spend Matters SolutionMap process, we’ve benchmarked its solution on a functional and customer satisfaction basis across hundreds of procure-to-pay functional and customer satisfaction areas 20 competitors. And when we talk about functional analysis, we’re talking about actual product demonstrations of real GA product.

SAP Ariba and Tradeshift are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap on a functional scoring basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head battle, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. We will be writing “Head-to-Head” columns on a regular basis, sharing the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers and providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters since its inception.

Not an Insider member yet? Here’s a preview: In certain invoice-to-pay categories — which include supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing and contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba comes out on top. In fact, SAP Ariba, on a straight line, “Deep” persona invoice-to-pay functional basis factoring into account all scoring criteria, is the top performing solution on an analyst scoring basis in Q2 2018.

But in specific categories, Tradeshift wins the race. And overall, the results specific to core accounts payable and invoice/document automation might surprise companies that think experience and size triumph over youthful ambition. Perhaps more important, the SAP Ariba vs. Tradeshift head-to-head shows that one size does not fit all for e-invoicing and associated capabilities. There’s no debate that invoice-to-pay selection processes will reward those procurement and finance organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs.

The Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.