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Canada's Magazine for Financing & Leasing Executives

December 18 , 2013

Basware predicts 2014 will be the ‘Year of E-Engagement’ for B2B commerce, driven by explosive growth of social, mobile, cloud

STAMFORD--Basware, the leading provider of e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solutions, anticipates several key trends that will impact finance and procurement in the coming year, including the fast growth of social, mobile and cloud computing that will fuel the rapid rise of e-invoicing and e-payment services. Additionally, as organizations continue to face intense pressure to improve cash flow, they will turn to innovative payment strategies to accomplish this goal.

“In 2013, companies have been focused on improving their cash flow and we expect this to continue as a key focus in 2014,” said Esa Tihilä, CEO of Basware. “Effective payment strategies will stay top of mind as organizations look to maximize working capital and ensure the financial stability of their suppliers.

“Additionally, in the coming year we expect more finance and procurement departments to use B2B e-commerce to improve financial management and increase responsiveness to internal users, customers and suppliers. This will enable them to gain better insight, improved processes and increased collaboration,” Tihilä added.

Basware predicts four key trends will transform B2B commerce over the next twelve months:

1) 2014 Will Be the Year Of ‘E-Everything’ through Social, Mobile, Cloud

In today’s real-time social, mobile and cloud-based environment, business users are demanding access to information and the ability to process tasks in a matter of seconds or minutes. To meet these increasing demands, finance and procurement professionals will see rapid growth of e-invoicing, e-ordering and e-payment services. They will also expect an open, engaging digital experience and ease-of-use in their finance and procurement solutions.

Following in the footsteps of corporate buyers, suppliers are realizing how expedited invoicing can improve cash flow and allow them to benefit from real-time financial data. In 2014, we expect to see more suppliers using supplier portals as well as on-boarding services to increase the speed and accuracy of invoicing. Additionally, local governments will continue to play a pivotal role in encouraging their national governments to adopt e-invoicing.

The key to transitioning to ‘e-everything’ in 2014 and achieving financial success will be to become better connected in the business environment, just as consumers have become accustomed to in their everyday lives. One way companies will continue to increase their connectivity and collaboration is through business e-commerce networks, which will enable them to connect internal employee efforts to customers, suppliers and partners to gain market share, achieve higher margins and increase sales.

2) Savvy Buyers and Suppliers will Free Up Cash Flow

In the U.S. e-payments typically have focused on the consumer retail space, but we will see it beginning to take hold in B2B due to increased market pressure and the availability of new solutions. Currently, cash flow concerns are being fueled by large companies that are extending their payment terms with suppliers to free up cash for their organizations. With terms at these large companies now typically 60-100 days, the impact on suppliers – particularly smaller ones – can be severe, jeopardizing their financial stability as well as creating risk in the supply chain.

Over the next year we expect to see the rise of innovative e-payment solutions that will address both sides of the payment issue: speeding up slow invoice processing and invoice payment tasks to ensure that suppliers get paid quickly, while extending terms for buyers.

3) Leaders will Increase their Competitive Advantage through Analytics

Now more than ever companies require immediate access to spend and cash flow information to better manage finances in real-time. In 2014, companies will rely even more heavily on analytics, not only across their purchase-to-pay process, but also across their whole network of buyers and suppliers, to aid their decision-making.

The use of real-time analytics will help identify financial bottlenecks and opportunities for cost savings. It will enable organizations to collate information from across the network to uncover trends that help improve cash-to-cash conversion cycles and critical performance indicators, such as days’ sales outstanding and days’ payment outstanding.

4) The Year of the Accounts Payable Change Maker

In 2014 the accounts payable team, which has insight into the company’s actual spend, will further social, mobile and cloud-based e-invoicing and e-payment solutions to make information more accessible and drive collaboration and change across the organization. Additionally, the ability to measure key metrics will be the catalyst for the accounts payable change makers to work smarter and take performance to new levels.

Basware provides open, secure, cloud-based purchase-to-pay and e-invoicing solutions to organizations of all sizes, resulting in greater efficiencies in procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Companies across all industries, from small businesses to corporate giants, use Basware solutions to drive sustainable cost savings, proactive insight to cash flows and improved buyer–supplier relationships. The Basware Commerce Network is founded on the principles of openness, where all types of organizations can collaborate and trade, making it the largest in the world. Today we connect millions of business users in 900,000 companies across over 100 countries.



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