Four ways to eliminate paper in procurement
Reducing paper use is an easy way companies can improve sustainability in procurement. Bob Cohen, Basware VP, North America, says: “Reducing paper is a win-win situation for companies. The billions of paper invoices sent annually not only destroys trees but also creates problems for organisations as well, by minimising visibility, creating inefficiencies, and increasing costs. By reducing or eliminating paper invoices and implementing other green financial practices, companies can minimise their carbon footprint, as well as improve their visibility and control over cash flow, spend and working capital.”
Here are four ways to eliminate paper in procurement:
1. Implementing e-invoicing. Companies can reduce and even totally eliminate paper invoices by using cloud-based business commerce networks to send and receive invoices globally. In addition, companies can realise up to 80 percent cost savings, gain accuracy, and eliminate time-consuming and manual processes, such as printing, mailing, scanning, keying in invoice data, manually matching invoices to orders and archiving.
2. Creating a green supply chain ecosystem. By helping their suppliers establish e-invoicing through supplier on-boarding, supplier portals and other services, many companies are receiving 100 percent of their invoices electronically, while also promoting eco-friendly practices throughout their trading ecosystem.
3. Encourage electronic purchases. Companies can eliminate large paper catalogs for employee purchasing by providing e-catalogs over business commerce networks. This practice also helps companies enforce their purchasing plans and policies and support the vendors that provide the best value.
4. Make payments electronically. By implementing electronic payment practices, companies can forgo the need for checks and cash in B2B financial transactions. It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s also a more efficient and effective way to conduct business. By using solutions that combine e-invoicing and e-payment networks, both buyers and suppliers can benefit from improved cash flow.
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EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”