Electronic procurement is a relatively new technology that has rapidly gained ground, from corporate AP departments to Washington, DC to mandates in Europe. While paperless business processes have proven to be more accurate and efficient, e-procurement is also an excellent way for your company to go green and save green at the same time.
American businesses send out an estimated 6.64 billion invoices to other businesses every year. They also send out an additional 42 billion bills to consumers. To meet that demand, it takes a lot of trees and creates a lot of landfills, as Americans waste enough paper each year to make up approximately 1 billion trees. Less wasted paper, less wasted ink, and money saved on postage and transportation costs have led even the federal government to begin its own e-procurement initiative as a means to cut spending.
By 2020, Europe plans for the electronic invoice to be the predominant billing format. While the U.S. is heading there at a slower pace, Europe’s faster (and frequently government-mandated) transition is due to economic woes and environmental concerns. The money saved from the switch will be used to help reinvigorate a sagging European economy while the e-procurement initiative alone is expected to significantly reduce carbon emissions.
American businesses are quickly becoming more open to adopting e-procurement as an improvement over slower, more costly paper invoicing. Paper-based businesses spend approximately $3 billion each year on b-2-b invoicing and another $21 billion on b-2-c billing. Many are beginning to take advantage of invoice management software to help alleviate these unnecessarily bloated costs and create a cohesive, efficient electronic payment system.
Going green is great for the environment, but it’s even more satisfying when it helps your bottom line at the same time.