The Invoicing Category

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

Tradeshift is a cloud platform that connects buyers and suppliers with the goal of digitizing supply chain relationships, processes and information, while also enabling everyday procure-to-pay activities. Its capabilities span the buying of goods and services through to financing and payment — and significant capability in between, especially in the invoice-to-pay area.

In addition to providing its own procure-to-pay modules, Tradeshift offers an open integration framework that allows other technology firms (and customers) to integrate and/or development third-party “apps,” primarily centered on supplier connectivity, transaction enablement and collaboration. Tradeshift can even integrate alternative procure-to-pay providers in cases where specific enabling capability is desired.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Tradeshift, both as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider and also as an e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology vendor. It is designed to provide facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether they should consider Tradeshift for both traditional “in-the-box” procure-to-pay requirements as well as unique marketplace/platform type digital initiatives.

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 Tradeshift as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Why Platforms Need to Monetize Their Supplier Ecosystem

Because P2P solutions started giving away supplier portals, cash flow optimizers, analytics, support, etc., they closed a revenue door. Trying to build a sustainable business model when half your ecosystem is not monetized is very challenging, even as P2P platforms add features and functionality. Sure, many platforms are trying to figure out payments, and that is something that scares the bejeebers out of them due to regulations and compliance rules. (Don’t pay that blacklisted vendor or person, or else.) But payments is not a profitable business for platforms, it’s a service.

Post-Confirmation Dilution in an Uncertain Credit World

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How long has this benign credit cycle been going on? How about since 2008, when the Fed began dumping money into the economy to go way beyond its mandate as a last-stop liquidity gap. This has led to many distortions in the credit and capital markets, and one area where this is poorly understood is around “approved” invoices. Despite what many players in the space might believe, underwriting is necessary — even  critical. Even though the invoices that are on the platform are, by definition, approved for payment (i.e., highly de-risked), they are by no means risk-free.

Intelligent Trade Finance: The Road Ahead

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Biji John, product manager, trade finance, at Finastra.

The trade finance industry is undergoing a unique moment of transformation. There is a virtuous circle between how the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution will enable trade financing, and how this in turn will power the innovation and adoption of these technologies in “Industry X.0.” In our last post, we explored ways in which AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform how trade finance is done. Here we explore some of the hurdles that banks face on the road to true intelligent trade finance, and provide some practical examples of banks that have overcome these challenges and serve as prime examples of intelligent trade finance in action.

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

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

The Spend Matters Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap is an amalgam of different markets. On the one hand, it includes capabilities that typically fit squarely into the e-invoicing box. But it also examines aspects of accounts payable automation and procure-to-pay systems (like supplier network connectivity), as well as the broader connectivity, collaboration and compliance components of these areas.

Within the I2P market, Basware is one of the top ranked SolutionMap providers for Q3 2018, delivering above-the-benchmark functional and customer reference scores. Basware also participates in SolutionMaps for E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), as well as offers broader source-to-pay capabilities through a partnership with Scanmarket. But the purpose of this analysis is to explore exactly how Basware stands out in a crowded invoice-to-pay field — an area where it shines, in fact.

“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.

8 Quantifiable Levers Where Invoice-to-Pay Solutions Deliver ROI — Beyond Accounts Payable (Part 2) [PRO]

Invoice-to-pay (I2P) solutions can provide significant leverage for a range of business functions that extend beyond accounts payable alone. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced the topic of where to look for value levers and ROI outside of AP enablement alone from I2P solutions and explored the initial four levers to pull: managing, controlling and enabling visibility into 100% of an organization’s spend; providing a means of onboarding and actively managing suppliers; driving stakeholder collaboration; and technical and business integration support that makes AP a “hub” rather than a spoke.

As we conclude our analysis, we will explore four additional areas where I2P solutions deliver extended value and measurable KPI improvement beyond AP-centric metrics alone. These areas center on compliance enablement (business and regulatory), data analytics, EBITDA improvement and working capital enablement, and driving broader business objectives (while reducing the “cost to serve”).

Please note that a SolutionMap Insider companion research brief is also being published that will detail SolutionMap vendor performance for all of these areas, ranking how individual vendors perform against these requirements based on the Q3 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark.

Global E-Payment Software Helps Companies Cross Borders and Cash In, Report Finds

MBO Partners

A wealth of opportunity awaits in emerging markets around the world, and global e-payment software is helping businesses cross borders to tap into that revenue — and navigate the fiscal risks that can strain supply chains and supplier relationships, according to a report that surveyed more than 400 organizations. According to the report, 73% of U.S. companies are now making some type of cross-border payments. But writing a check and sending it to Peru or even relying on wire transfers to far-flung locales no longer cut it with businesses trying to expand globally yet stay profitable. Those methods can be slow, fraught with fraud and take up too much time for a company’s accounts payable department.

Early Pay Finance Ain’t Easy: Understanding Customer Deductions

Every industry is affected by customer deductions. Called a variety of names by companies — including deductions, chargebacks or short-pays — from the perspective of a digital lender focused on invoice finance, understanding the nature of deductions is a first start to building smart underwriting and dynamic lending capabilities. Why? Deductions mean a diluted invoice value.

8 Quantifiable Levers Where Invoice-to-Pay Solutions Deliver ROI — Beyond Accounts Payable (Part 1) [PRO]

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Invoice-to-pay (I2P) solutions exist to serve the broader business, not just accounts payable functions. Spend Matters defines the I2P area as a combination of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and e- payments, which may leverage a supplier network model for connectivity and value-added capabilities.

I2P solutions not only reduce paper-based processes and increase efficiency (e.g., reduce cash disbursement costs per FTE) but also serve as a foundation for enabling finance organization improvements generally (e.g., by reducing late payments, optimized working capital and lowering non-compliance). The value-added capability of technology providers offer today can help procurement and finance to configure and deploy complex invoice workflow, matching, approvals, cash disbursements, trade financing options and better process management overall. ilities.

Yet all too often, these technologies are viewed as tactical and transactionally focused, when in fact they can deliver multiple strategic outcomes. Confining invoice-to-pay solutions to an AP-centric value proposition is a mistake that many organizations make when selecting technology. And it is one that that software providers also make when “under-selling” them into organizations. ilities.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief explores eight business levers that I2P solutions can pull to deliver return on investment (ROI), as defined by the functional requirements in Spend Matters SolutionMap. We have authored it to help organizations better quantify the extended returns they can realize from I2P solutions when building business cases and to help solution providers better sell the full business value of what they deliver. ilities.

Please note that a SolutionMap Insider companion research brief is also being published that will detail SolutionMap vendor performance for all of these areas, ranking how individual vendors perform against these requirements based on the Q3 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark.

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The Imperative to Improve Working Capital: Driving Forces and Emerging Solutions

Improving working capital performance has become increasingly important to companies in recent years, yet few procurement and finance organizations have found truly sustainable, long-term solutions to support this goal. The problem is that immediate external forces are pushing businesses to make working capital improvements now, while the sound financial strategies to maintain these changes require more than a few “quick fixes” to ultimately succeed.

Debunking the Myths of Optical Character Recognition: What It Is and How It Affects Accounts Payable

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Justin Holden, vice president of sales, Yooz North America.

OCR: Another one of those technical buzzwords that we’re hearing a lot about these days. It’s of particular interest in fintech (another new buzzword that stands for “financial technology”) and even more specifically in accounts payable. But what is it? More important, what isn’t it? And how does it make a difference in the accounts payable (AP) workflow?

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Working Capital Optimization: Why a Game-Changing Approach is Needed

Game changers are easy to spot. They are the ones who want to make sure that tomorrow is better than today. They are the dreamers, the innovators, the ones who think the impossible is a challenge waiting to be bested. And in today’s competitive marketplace, it will be the game changer, more specifically, the financial game changer, who will stand out from the crowd. How will they do this, you ask? They will understand that working capital optimization is so much more than jargon.