Nipendo: Bringing O2P and P2P to the Mainstream
Nipendo, which recently secured $8 Million in funding (Press Release), a provider of order-to-payment automation software, recently released a new version of its order-to-payment (O2P) platform that includes automated rules-based end-to-end invoice reconciliation. Billing itself as the Supplier Cloud* solution, Nipendo has done an excellent job of making seamless supplier connectivity a reality for its customers.
By integrating with a number of platforms, providing a supplier portal, and by offering a print package that suppliers can download and install as a print driver on their PCs to print invoices to the Nipendo solution, Nipendo makes it easy for suppliers to e-invoice buyers without having to do any sort of complex integration with yet another platform. This is a powerful feature.
But what is really great about the Nipendo platform is the fact that they took three years to build a good understanding of customer fears as well as customer needs and built a solution that not only does what it says it does, but also addresses the main customer fear points, as outlined in our last post on points to ponder when people are pushing off procurement platforms.
Reality #5: It does save money.
A proper implementation of the Nipendo platform automates the full O2P/P2P (Procure-to-Pay) lifecycle, including invoice matching, verification, and payment subject to user-defined rules, allowing O2P/P2P to be managed on an exceptions-only basis. Once supplier onboarding is complete, all tedious tactical no-value-add manual processing or review time is required unless there is an exception, which allows 80%+ of the invoices and payments to just flow. This eliminates 80% of valueless tactical manpower effort, which can be redeployed to more strategic work, as well as all of the associated costs of sending, receiving, processing, and filing paper.
Reality #4: It does integrate.
Nipendo integrates with all of the major ERP vendors -- including SAP (Business One), Oracle, Microsoft Dynamix, Quickbooks Enterprise, and Sage; integrates with a number of third party supply management platforms -- including IBM Cognos, Synertrade, BuyerQuest, Global Factoring, and TIS; has it's own Print to Cloud solution (which, thank your deity, does not actually print to the cloud but allows a supplier to submit their invoice to the Nipendo platform in a common data format); and has a number of third party technology partners that can build you an integration point if you don't have one. Nipendo realizes that in order to truly deliver O2P/P2P savings, you had to automate the entire process, which means automating it for ALL parties, which means you have to integrate with all parties and the platforms they use, and they have spent years building a multitude of integration points.
Reality #3: It will work for you - it has a customizable workflow.
You can define the exact O2P/P2P process that you use, and precisely how complex each step is. For example, where purchase orders are concerned, you can define each status and step, the approval(s) level(s) required, whether you want to be notified of viewings/approvals, actions the vendor can take, information required by the vendor for each action (comments, reasons for rejections or requests for corrections or clarifications, etc.), required attachments (such as insurance certificates, certifications, etc.), the validations executed against invoices, the variations allowed, rules for automated approval, etc. The system can be setup to match your current organizational workflow precisely.
Reality #2: Suppliers can use it. They can choose among a number of low effort solutions!
In addition to the ERP integrations, third party platform integrations, the Print to Cloud utility, and options for custom integration from a third party, the supplier also has the option to use a good old-fashioned web portal. The supplier can use the platform.
Reality #1: The solution is designed for efficiency. Not job elimination.
It's true that if the primary reason for O2P/P2P automation is that you just want to outsource the function (using BPO - business process outsourcing) and make sure that the third party organization is actually capable of delivering cost savings (by way of reduced manpower), then jobs will be eliminated. But if the driver for paperless O2P/P2P automation is that your Procurement and Supply Management personnel are spending too much time on costly tactical activities and not value-add strategic activities, the solution will end up providing a much greater contribution to the organizational bottom line as your Procurement and Supply Management personnel will be able to focus on getting more spend under management (and through the system), which will identify cost reductions in addition to process savings.
With the recent release of their automated end-to-end invoice reconciliation functionality, Nipendo enables true end-to-end O2P/P2P process automation in an exception driven fashion. This is where O2P/P2P needs to be. Manual review of invoices adds no value, and manual payments when everything matches approved purchase orders adds no value either. Value is in the identification of issues; the creation of corrective action plans; the implementation of efficiency, service, and product improvements; and in the identification of areas for cost avoidance. Pushing paper accomplishes nothing.
* Presumably because, even though Nipendo knows it's not true, too many people still think that the cloud is a fluffy magic box (which it is not).