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Automation, savings and innovation for BPO providers


An area I’d like to explore is how the relationship between F&A business process outsourcing (BPO) and e-Invoicing is delivering greater savings and innovation.

It’s clear that F&A BPO is moving away from simply lifting an organisation’s bad processes, taking them to a cheaper location and sharing the headcount savings. In all the cases we’ve witnessed, automation generates more impressive savings than lower-cost employees, results in better processes wherever you are in the world and, critically, is an enabler for emerging working capital solutions.

In addition to efficiencies, providers receive demands from clients for innovation in the BPO services they receive. But, as Cathy Tornbohm Research Vice President at Gartner, said in a recent interview, clients don’t always know what this means:

“They don’t need providers to invent a gizmo… What innovation means in this context is e-invoicing. They want to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes.”

Gartner describes e-Invoicing as a process-enhancement technology and service that sits between the provider and end user’s ERP. Many BPO companies have started to push the automation angle themselves – especially among the providers we partner with – and show that they are ahead of the curve.

A BPO provider that automates and outsources purchase-to-pay will increase productivity, deliver improved invoice data quality and compliance, faster invoice approval, greater scalability and visibility, and strengthened relations with suppliers.


About the author

Gary Benson

I joined Tungsten Network, then OB10, at the beginning in 2000: the four founders, plus me as General Manager. Having initially created and managed the core business execution processes and then built our Partner ecosystem, in the last three years I recruited and now manage our team of Global Client Relationship Directors. This team is focused on elevating Tungsten’s role from being a simple ‘supplier’ to increasingly being viewed as an expert partner in transforming the AP function of our global clients and expanding the deployment of e-invoicing globally. In parallel we started the European e-Invoice Service Providers Association (EeSPA), which is now an independently managed membership of 60+ Service Providers, providing industry representation on the EU Commission e-invoice development forums. I am a member of the executive board. Having been part of the growth of the industry over the last 16 years, I am passionate about 'real' e-invoicing (happy to debate what this is with anyone!) and can be a little bit intense, so apologies in advance. When I'm not at work or with my family, I play (bad) golf or watch (great) football or rugby, having played both in the distant past.



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