Nissan Europe choose Wax Digital for major Purchase to Pay project (part 2)

We heard yesterday about Nissan’s choice of Wax Digital for a new indirect purchasing P2P system across Europe. More today from our conversation with Barry Wilmer, Purchase Systems Development Manager for Nissan.

I asked him the 64,000 dollar question - so why did Wax Digital win what was by the sound of it a very rigorous competitive process ?

“They came through really on a number of areas - the product capability and user interface, their technical approach and costs. We don’t have much catalogue based buying at the moment, but we want to increase that - and Wax have a good offering in that area. They also have considerable SAP integration experience, which was important”.

This is a highly international programme – were there any particular aspects there?

“ Once we had selected them as the preferred supplier, we held a 10 day workshop with Wax to develop the final specification – that had a wide Nissan attendance from all European territories.That helped to get the broad stakeholder buy-in.

One significant international factor was the tax and VAT issues around e-invoicing in different European countries. That was a key factor in our selection  – Wax have solid experience there. Some other potential providers had impressive products but less apparent knowledge and experience in that field. With others, there were also issues with their fee structures, or a lack of user friendliness in their user interfaces – a key consideration for us”.

So how are you going to handle the implementation?

“We’re starting in 63 days time with eastern Europe – that’s the first part of a phased approach. Starting with that region allows us to test the different language issues, but it’s not as many users to get on board as the UK for instance would have been if we’d chosen that as our first stage. The final phase will be the factories – there are more requisitioners there than on the office side because of the complexity of MRO type spend”.

What about the sourcing side of procurement technology – Wax Digital offer that as well, so are you going to use that capability?

“Not at the moment. We migrated from Ariba to ScanMarket only about three years ago, so there are no immediate plans to move again. No doubt we’ll review it again in the future though.”

So, summing up, this is a really significant win for Wax Digital, against a strong field and after a serious selection process. It bears out our feelings that usability and integration are now right at the top of the want-list for many buyers of P2P technology. On the other hand, I’ve been aware of the VAT and tax issues, but haven’t often seen them featuring so strongly in the decision process, as they have here. As e-invoicing moves up the priority list, that is something that P2P providers will need to address convincingly.

And good luck to Wilmer and Nissan – we’re hoping to speak to him again in a few months and see how it’s going, and whether he has any lessons for others perhaps looking at similarly challenging international programmes.

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