Tuesday, October 03, 2006

720 Hours

I was perusing old Fast Company articles and stumbled across one from 2000 that highlighted a company called etime (I googled the company and discovered they were acquired in 2002 by TradeBeam, www.tradebeam.com).

In the article, it is pointed out that commerce technology's promise is not one way, and as the delivery of goods and services is sped through the introduction of new technologies, and suggests that accepted standards such as the 30 day due date for accounts receivable is a relic.

It sounds at first blush an overstatement, but upon refelection, if the issue were prepayment for goods and services with a thirty day delay before receiving them, it would cripple manufacturing (rendering JIT useless) and slow economic growth. What must be the as-yet unrecognized impact of slowed access to Accounts Receivable?

Treating your vendors well is a reflection on the brand, so this is an opportunity for creative differentiation in the market - at least as it impacts the supply chain. Certainly timely payment would be rewareded by vendors with discounts and better service, which is passed forward to the consumer.

So what argument still preserves thirty days (or more) AR in business to business transactions?

Perhaps this is yet another opportunity to rethink all of the ways the consumer is impacted by business decisions throughout the organization, and then re-create them to impact direct or indirect creative differentiation in the market.

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