In a recent webinar, experts from Tradeshift and Ardent Partners discussed some of the biggest trends in P2P and supply chain. Here’s what you need to know.
Digitization and the growth of AI and Machine Learning are changing the role of AP
Thanks to advancements in P2P technology, many companies are doing a great job of digitizing their AP process. And while AP is far from a fully digitalized profession — data from Ardent Partners shows that companies only receive around 45% of invoices electronically — there is real momentum building around e-invoicing and networked supply chain collaboration.
The increasing sophistication of AI and Machine Learning tools embedded in P2P solutions are big drivers behind this trend. For one, they’re helping AP drive cost savings by coding and approving invoices automatically, leaving AP professionals left only handling exceptions. And with lots of time freed up, AP professionals can focus on more strategic activities and unlock value in areas like payments, for example.
If you feel your AP department is lagging check out our 2019 AP gameplan for tips on how to catch up.
Breaking down silos is becoming a mission critical task
In many businesses, AP, treasury and procurement are still siloed. CFOs know they won’t have an efficient P2P process if their key departments don’t work together so they’re activating projects to break down bring these departments together.
In companies where the CFO isn’t taking the lead, silos can still be broken down from the bottom up. For example, somebody in AP may start conversations with treasury about how they manage cash to help them plan payments more strategically. Once the conversation begins, it’s easy to find mutual ground.
Either way, companies unlock a world of possibilities by breaking down silos. For example, by aligning AP, procurement and treasury, global logistics leader Kuehne + Nagel unlocked tens of millions of dollars of value trapped in their supply chain.
Finance for all
Some still see supplier finance as a tool that only benefits the largest companies and their largest suppliers. And while this was once true, it’s no longer the case. Thanks to digitization, the increasing availability of data, and networked supply chain platforms, funders are developing innovative dynamic risk models that enable them to extend finance at attractive rates deep down the supply chain.
What’s even more exciting is that lenders are not just able to fund deeper, they’re also able to provide funding earlier. This is because data gives them greater visibility and certainty that an invoice will be paid, allowing them to provide funding potentially before an invoice is even approved. The benefits of this are huge and could go a long way to unlocking the $1.3 trillion unnecessarily trapped in supply chains.