Tradeshift has added a new dimension to its e-invoicing platform with a service for collaborating on tasks and automating workflows.
I know this might sound terribly dull. But that has always been the problem with invoicing and processing work orders. It is tedious work with little interaction between people. Tradeshift is seeking to change the process by “humanizing business relations.”
The new service allows a customer to add multiple accounts so anyone can manage a document that enters the workflow. Each person has an employee card that puts a face to the name. People work in a river of news “activity stream,” feed so people can see the work around the document in question. The real-time exchange knows where to route documents in the workflow. Customers can augment the platform by adding their own processes.The real-time exchange knows where to route documents in the workflow. For example, employees can collaborate around an invoice:
Customers can augment the platform by adding their own processes. The Tradeshift service is designed to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks so people are free to work on business issues that require more thinking.
Tradeshift is a departure for people who have become accustomed to working on electronic data interchange (EDI) systems developed in the enterprise IT age of the 1990s. These systems were designed to provide codes to documents that computers could understand. EDI is primarily meant for large companies, processing tens of thousands of orders. But people still need to manage these systems. That often has meant working with little if any interaction between people. The new service from Tradeshift takes that process and gives it a modern look, typical of new services that add a degree of collaboration to the workflow.
The market for this type of service has given rise to such companies as Ariba, which recently was acquired by SAP for $4.3 billion. Tradeshift is used by Fortune 500 companies such as Lear but also has applications for smaller business.
Tradeshift has established itself in the market and has considerable financial backing but it is facing a new breed of competitors such as Senddr, which provides end-to-end connectivity between the supplier and the customer.