Monthly Archives: April 2012

PDF Invoices saving you time and money? Think again!

Many providers and even some governments have been touting PDF versions of invoices as a genuine form of electronic invoicing. Whilst PDF attachments sent via email are certainly electronic, many of the benefits available through automated e-Invoicing systems are lost.

PDF Invoices saving you time and money? Think again!

A study published by AIIM ( reveals that PDF file attachments are in fact costing more than they are saving. How is this possible? Consider the following findings:

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Report Calls on Multinationals to Reduce Carbon Emissions

A new report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in conjunction with Accenture has called on multinational companies to further reduce their emissions throughout their entire supply chain. The CDP analysed 49 global companies and 1800 of their suppliers to ascertain just how well they were doing in meeting their emissions reduction targets.

The survey included household names like L’Oréal, Philips and Walmart and found that 43% of them had managed to make annual reductions in their own emissions. Somewhat less impressive was the 28% of their suppliers having achieved any kind of year-on-year reduction.

Carbon emission reduction by implementing integrated supply chain solutions

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Extending the Supply Chain Management System

A recent change in California law now requires all businesses trading within the state with revenues in excess of $100 million to make their supply chain transparent, for easier verification that they are also complying with anti-human trafficking legislation. Businesses with lower turnovers are also required to make information about their staffing compliance to their customers who do breach the $100 million mark.

HandscuffKnown as the Transparency in Supply Chains Act, this new law is designed to reduce the use of illegal immigrants and slave labour within California and to help businesses identify points in their own supply chains where there may be an issue. As a result, companies are considering how to capture and store this information effectively.

To stay compliant, many companies have begun recording vendor reputation, employee hours and human-resources records in the supply chain management systems, and then making the information available to their supply chain partners. By sharing the information sensitively, businesses up and down the supply chain can see that their partners are not only compliant, but can prove it to the relevant authorities when necessary.

As Boeing found with their supplier portal, sharing information with suppliers and customers within the supply chain, significant efficiencies could be created beyond simply proving legislative compliance. The Transparency in Supply Chains Act has only been in force since January 1st and supporting systems and business processes are still maturing but eventually Californian companies will begin to recognise other benefits available through a more collaborative supply chain.

Information and resource sharing often helps to create a more efficient supply chain, but the politics and costs involved lead many such projects to fail before they even start. By forcing this change on companies, California’s new law will kick-start the collaborative process, which may well lead to further cooperation between affected companies, changing their future prospects.

Business Processes Part 3 – Actions Post Implementation

Once the business case has been made for the introduction of processes and relevant systems have been identified for automation, the final stage is to implement the processes themselves. Whether the processes are for a small business, or a multinational corporation, the post implementation guidelines remain roughly the same:

Business Processes

  • Let the process grow and adapt. Process outlines which remain too rigid cannot scale as business needs change. By all means formalise the process, but allow the opportunity for future organic change and enhancements.
  • Involve others in process creation and implementation creating a shared ownership and common vision for improvement. Doing this will also overcome many of the political barriers which could otherwise prevent process realisation.
  • Maintain a culture of continual improvement. There is always room for the creation of new processes or the refinement of existing ones. Incremental changes will keep processes relevant to business needs and prevent them from becoming a hindrance in future.

Any process, internal or external, can help a business increase its levels of efficiency, but attempting a one-time, big-bang implementation is unlikely to have the permanent benefits desired. Processes need to be frequently revisited to allow for the identification of smaller improvements which will keep the process relevant. Changes in business model, customer demands or supplier will all necessitate changes to business processes – inflexible and infrequent analysis of processes will preclude this.

The responsibility for implementation of processes generally lies with management, but ultimately, all staff should be encouraged to participate in a continual process improvement.

Processes can exist as part of a supply chain management system, or as an internal operating procedure.  The scope is virtually limitless. Clearly, where computerised automation is required, a suitable platform will need to be sourced which provides the necessary framework in addition to flexibility for future refinements. Why not give Celtrino a call to discuss the Smart Admin platform and how it could help with your business process implementation projects?


Paperless Invoices and the Household Charge

100 euro in paperLast Friday I read a letter in the Irish Times from Seán O’Kiersey referring to the unusual decision taken by our Government not to issue invoices to people paying the household charge.

Reflecting on the decision not to issue invoices led me to believe that Ireland’s controversial household charge could be the spark that ignites e-Invoicing activity in the public sector in Ireland?

I wrote a reply to the Irish Times offering the services of my company Celtrino to resolve this invoicing impasse.

A chara, – Further to Seán O Kiersey’s letter (March 30th) concerning the absence of invoices to those paying the household charge, I too found this an extraordinary practice.

Without insight into the reasons behind this decision, I might nevertheless be of some assistance to the Government. As a company specialising in the issuing of paperless invoices on behalf of many hundreds of customers in Ireland for almost 20 years, I can offer the services of our company to the Government on a cost neutral basis. By utilising our existing infrastructure, we can create and issue these paperless invoices securely by e-mail to all those households who have registered online. For those households that do not have an e-mail address, we can arrange though our physical print and post partner to deliver the balance of invoices.

This can be done quickly and efficiently and will be consistent with industry best practice of issuing sales invoices/receipts for all monies owed/received. Should the Government wish to take up this offer, I can be contacted at the address below. – Is mise,

KEN HALPIN, Managing Director, Celtrino, 125 Parnell Street, Dublin 1.