Process and Best Practice Content

VMSA West — A Breath of Fresh Air for Contingent Workforce Conferences

This week, on Aug. 14 and 15, I had the opportunity to attend the VMSA West conference held right on the coast in beautiful Half Moon Bay, California. This was the first conference on the West Coast for VMSA, which wanted to create a contingent workforce event more accessible to businesses on this side of the country (the annual flagship conference VMSA Live is held annually in Florida). About 130 ecosystem professionals (a balanced mix of buy-side, MSP, supplier and other providers) met in an intimate setting to breathe, explore topics and learn from one another.

Taking the Path of Least Friction for a Successful Payables Strategy

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Inefficient invoice processing is standing in the way of companies achieving their bottom-line targets. The cause is manual, paper-based invoicing systems, which lead to late payments, errors, internal process issues, disputes and damaged relationships with suppliers, among other headaches. In a word, “friction.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. New data is showing that digital AP solutions can eliminate these frictions and streamline invoice processing.

The Payables Friction Index: Barriers to Invoice Automation,” a PYMNTS and Corcentric collaboration, quantifies the issues that businesses experience in processing supplier payments and explains how automated solutions can help ease the pain.

3 tips to improve the ‘first mile’ of your supply chain

Overhauling how your business manages its supply chain is a daunting task, but a good starting point is to look at a segment of the supply chain and focus on three tips: clean your data to improve visibility, automate supplier collaboration and consider what new technology is available to you to make these things happen.

The specific part of the supply chain that many organizations would benefit from focusing on is the “first mile” — when businesses set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. In our previous article, “How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success,” we discussed the problems that snowball, add to risk and cut into margins.

Now, let’s dig into the top three tips for addressing these problems:

How and Why Digital Transformation Will Vastly Reshape Procurement & Finance Roles

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When a business upgrades a department like procurement or finance, the goal usually involves cutting costs, improving that one department and using data to assess their past performance. But that version of business is fading quickly as automation, digitization and changing trade force companies to be forward-looking and dynamic in their use of data.

That future also promises much more visibility for companies and consumers to be empowered and make better decisions.

But in the present, executives must prepare for the digital transformation of business operations and plan for more radical change across the whole enterprise. This will require them to figure how best to invest in technology, reshape their workforce and create bold visions of the future.

Despite power of data, many organizations lag in making it key to their decision-making culture, a Deloitte survey finds

In today’s hyper-connected, data-driven business world, the amount of available data is overwhelming. And while the concept of “big data” has been around for more than a decade, many companies are still lagging when it comes to using that data to make decisions. Insight-driven organizations (IDO), according to a recent Deloitte survey, are those that have made a transition to relying on data and analytics, instead of intuition, to make many of their business decisions. Technologies, led by artificial intelligence (AI), have the ability to support these insight-based decisions, giving companies a competitive advantage when they integrate them.

ASCM launches Enterprise Certification to improve supply chains’ focus on ecology, economics, ethics

The Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM) announced the launch of the ASCM Enterprise Certification, the first-of-its-kind, global cross-industry standards guide to benchmark progress and measure the ethical, environmental and economic initiatives of corporate supply chains.

Vndly’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Vndly, which provides a cloud-based work management system (i.e., a new VMS) for hiring and using contingent workers. The applicable SolutionMap categories for this report is in Temp Staffing. SolutionMap Insider members can click on this article to read about Vndly in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of data from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of customer quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

How ‘first-mile’ flaws hinder last-mile success

Businesses want and need to deliver for their customers, and that’s often done by putting a ton of thought and effort into the last mile of the process to ensure success and customer satisfaction. But, while getting products and services to customers is vital, it’s not the first step.

For that, we need to focus on the first mile — that time in any company’s supply chain process where you can set a solid foundation to work with suppliers, engage services and order direct materials. The first mile is just as important as the last mile for meeting customer commitments, and it’s even more important when it comes to maximizing margin, managing inventory and recognizing revenue.

To succeed, you’ll need to improve your processes by implementing a digital transformation. That involves more than using digital forms instead of paper. To truly transform, real-time data and visibility need to be at the heart of how your company runs. Problems in the first mile need a modern solution.

How to Tackle Spend, Pick the Right Technology and Gain Visibility

We recently talked with Nikesh Parekh, CEO of Suplari, to find out how companies are handling all of their spend data and learn why they need to digtialy transform. "The traditional function of procurement was, in the early days, to enforce a set of processes to prevent employees from making irresponsible or unwise spending decisions. It’s the quickest path to saving money," he said. "But today, our customers tell me that they are being asked to provide strategic value above and beyond cost savings and risk reduction. This is where digital transformation comes into play. If organizations want to move the needle beyond the tactics they’ve been employing, they need to be open to leveraging innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence."

How smart data extraction makes for smart AP automation

What you really want to know when investigating AP automation solution providers is whether the solution has a complete technology, combining OCR (converting images to text), smart data extraction (transforming the text into relevant data) — and machine learning (remembering the data and populating it into the applicable data fields each time the data is recognized). You are looking for a system that gets smarter the more you use it!

Recession is on the mind of many procurement, finance professionals: Study

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Despite economic growth, recent headwinds have procurement and finance professionals considering how to deal with a possible recession in the next year or so, according to a survey by the data-aggregation firm Suplari, which published “Plans & Tactics to Recession-Proof the Enterprise in 2019 and Beyond.” The study notes that many recent surveys spotlight executives’ concerns that job markets, credit risks and tariff policies could push the economy to decelerate. The survey evaluates how to avoid disruptions of performance, growth and profitability, considering what strategies can be employed swiftly to identify cost-savings and risk-optimization.

Taulia’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Taulia, which offers payment processing solutions. Its applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Invoice-to-Pay. SolutionsMap Insider members can click here to read about Taulia in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of qualitative — and select rating and quantitative — insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.