Tag Archives: B2B

SEPA & EDI Invoicing

SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business Scheme

SEPA on the keyboardThe imminent arrival of SEPA based direct debits into the Irish landscape has highlighted 2 distinct business risks for B2B suppliers. At present Irish B2B customers are afforded the same rights as B2C customers. This is due to the fact that no Irish banks have currently registered for the SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business Scheme leaving the SEPA Core Scheme as business’ only option. This means that a B2B customer currently paying by direct debit can now recall an authorised payment anytime up to 8 weeks after the payment date without having to give a reason for the recall. This has the potential to cause havoc with supplier cash flows and seriously jeopardise the viability of some suppliers.

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O2’s Sustainability Commitments Drive Supply Chain Improvements

British mobile telecoms provider O2 has created a three year sustainability plan, intending to reduce carbon emissions by 4 million tonnes and train one million young people through various community projects. Known as the ‘Think Big Blueprint’, O2’s plans touch on every aspect of their business including the management of their supply chain.

O2’s Sustainability Commitments Drive Supply Chain ImprovementsNumber one on the list of priorities is a change in the way major purchases are viewed shifting the focus from pure financial value, to the wider impact such a decision has. If the purchase is unsustainable or causes irreparable environmental damage, then the deal does not proceed. However O2 also plan to extend this policy beyond the confines of their own company, auditing their larger suppliers to ensure compliance with the O2 Responsible Supply Chain Policy which covers environmental concerns, business ethics and corporate responsibility; failure to meet these agreements could result in termination of a supply contract.

O2 are also keen to involve many more SMEs and social enterprises in their supply chain and are creating processes to make this a reality. A new supplier forum has been set up to allow companies up and downstream to promote innovative practices for greater efficiency and to share best practices.

Key to all of O2’s sustainability efforts is greater collaboration in the B2B and B2C markets, to create a coherent strategy that affects not only every aspect of their supply chain, but also the rest of the business. Facilitating better information sharing should not be a problem for a communications giant, but the channels used to underpin it will need to be innovative and efficient in their own right.

O2 has recognised that sustainable business practices can provide definite returns on investment through creation of efficiencies, as well as a great deal of goodwill from the general public by involving them in the supply chain. Taking O2’s lead, how could you transform your company’s fortunes through supply chain collaboration and sustainable business practices?

Global Financial Crisis – The Basis for e-Invoicing Success?

Success, Profit, BusinessAs any business owner knows, particularly those in the SME market, securing credit from a bank is nigh on impossible at the moment. Concerns about capitalisation and liquidity are causing banks to keep hold of cash, making loans to businesses extremely difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. As a result wider economic growth is stalled as businesses cannot afford to invest in order to expand. Consequently, companies are being forced to identify efficiencies and costs savings which can potentially free up cash for re-investment, undertaking detailed analysis of financial routines in way that during the “good times” may have been neglected.

These internal reviews are forcing businesses to look ever harder at their own cash flow and the way it is managed. Many have already discovered that the process streamlining available through e-Invoicing has significant benefits, particularly when extended to the wider financial supply chain. The automation of various accounting functions reduces workload whilst maintaining the controls required for low-level financial analysis.

The European Union’s continued promotion of e-Invoicing coupled with similar requirements of many national governments are steadily moving businesses towards electronic invoice presentation and payment anyway, but the global financial instability could be accelerating uptake too. The political drive to increase e-Invoicing should see the concept reach critical mass with SMEs in the next few years and as uptake climbs, so too should use of these platforms in the B2B markets as well as the B2G.

So at a time where literally every penny counts, business decision makers should be following the lead set by the European Union and investigating the potential benefits and savings available through business process automation and outsourcing. e-Invoicing could be one of the ways to ensure business survival and growth despite the apparent obstructions put up banks.

Supply chain automation made easy

“(…) time taken to switch all your paper-based transactions to the platform is minimal. Supplier ‘on-boarding’, as it’s termed, just isn’t an issue.” – have a read of my interview with Malcolm Wheatley in the May edition of The Manufacturer.

Drive down supply chain management costs

Take a look at our data sheet that outlines how your business can drive down supply chain management costs simply.

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e-Procurement in the EU

As with many technological advances, governments frequently lag behind their private sector citizens. However following a 3 month consultation period, the European Commission has reported “considerable support” for the institution of a mandatory standardised EU-wide e-procurement solution.

In a statement outlining the main findings of the consultation, the EC said: “There is broad support for EU-level action, including the use of legislation, to facilitate the use of standardised e-procurement solutions. A small majority of respondents support the imposition of EU-level requirements to use e-procurement.”

Euro sign on the computer keyboard

Echoing the concerns of private sector implementers of procure-to-pay solutions, 60% of respondents commented that “overcoming inertia and fear” would be the largest barriers to the success of e-procurement deployments, particularly in cross-border situations. Concerns were also raised about the potential for a lack of standards or onerous technical requirements.

The EC is now calling on e-procurement and B2B supply chain management specialists to join an expert group with a view to creating a blueprint for common solutions. The EC is also set to monitor the use of e-purchasing within its member states  to observe and promote best practices.

One of the lessons the public sector has learned in the arena of supply chain automation and e-procurement is that implementations of such systems need be neither complex nor onerous. Outsourcing of procurement processes to specialist providers has proven to be both cost effective and extremely efficient, removing much of the administrative burden associated with e-procurement. Using cloud-based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems such as Celtrino’s Smart Admin platform, businesses can take advantage of sophisticated data format conversions to deliver Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) information directly into a supplier’s accounting system.

The use of outsourced EDI Managed Services have proven to be of great benefit to private sector businesses by transferring the day to day responsibilities for managing complex data sets and transformations to the service providers, generating cost savings as a direct result. It is therefore feasible for governments to reap similar benefits through use of the same platforms and processes.

Innovating for Success

In the past, innovation was a once-a-generation process. Businesses could afford to be as slow as they wanted because customers did not have the unlimited purchasing options available to them that they do now.

The advent of the Internet has rapidly increased the speed at which business can take place. Ecommerce systems allow customers to compare prices and make purchases instantaneously and only those businesses able to adjust to customer whims can survive.

In the same way, businesses are now able to change suppliers as and when required, radically altering their supply chains each time. Consequently vendors need B2C mechanisms for selling products, backed up by reliable B2B platforms to underpin their business processes. However many traditional ERP systems expect business processes to be set in stone and do not allow for the flexibility required for a fluid business model.

Frequent innovations are now an essential part of corporate survival. Business process changes are equally important, as is a system capable of underpinning them. Flexibility in purchasing and payments increase the field of potential business partners again allowing companies to make the best choices for their own growth.

Celtrino’s Smart Admin suite of services have been specially designed to allow exploitation and adaptation of processes to meet shorter lifecycle opportunities. Using the flexibility available in their cloud-based platform, Celtrino can adjust a business’ electronic supply chain in less time that it takes a traditional ERP provider to quote on the workflow changes required.

Smart Admin also allows users to implement as much or as little of the system as their situation demands. From basic e-Invoicing to full e-procurement and paperless purchase order processing, Celtrino provide the tools needed to reduce the time spent on administrative tasks and reap the associated cost savings. With full electronic data  interchange capabilities, both businesses involved in a transaction stand to benefit thanks to native integration capabilities between Celtrino and other critical in-house packages.

In a time when slow to change businesses risk extinction, Celtrino allows a business to innovate and re-invent their processes time and time again.