Visible Commerce – The Benefits Of Business Transparency

Doing business transparently has many commercial benefits.

How are businesses responding to demands for transactional transparency from customers and wider society? 

Companies and their leaders increasingly benefit from what I call ‘visible commerce’. They need to know what sits underneath all their transactions. 

At Basware, we see such visible commerce as a means of simplifying operations, spending smarter and doing more.

Research reveals the need for transparency

We partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS) to take the pulse of business leaders and to understand how automation is empowering strategic decision-making at their firms. 

I am pleased to share the findings of how this elite group of company executives are using transparency to mitigate risk, create business value and hone their competitive edge.

The report, Using Transparency to Enhance Reputation and Reduce Business Risk, explores the full value that such transparency delivers. 


It clarifies the advantages of automating finance and procurement processes.

 
It finds that those working towards total visibility in the flow of money, goods and services are able to make more effective strategic decisions. And that this transparency is a defining characteristic of winning businesses worldwide. 

The companies that have invested in improving visibility across finance and procurement benefit from greater employee engagement. They have a better reputation and enjoy revenue growth.

Decrease risk and improve reputation through supply chain visibility

Chief Executives and Chief Financial Officers are concerned by lack of visibility in the supply chain – and associated reputational risks. 

Increasingly they are asking their finance teams to explore the untapped potential of data-led insights and unlock the potential unrealised value that a better grasp of their operations could provide.

The smooth flow of financial data between suppliers and buyers quietly underpins global trade. 

From ordering a taxi to renewing an option on wheat grain, we each have the power to change the world for better or worse with the push of a button.

Today’s interconnected world transcends physical boundaries and delivers tremendous business advantages in terms of speed, convenience and efficiency.

But it also comes with the risk of trusted human connections between buyer and supplier being lost. Or faked.

We live in a world where technology giants Google and Facebook voluntarily paid out $172 million in fake invoices to a single man posing as a legitimate supplier.

Visibility makes better businesses and better corporate citizens

From accounts payable to quality management, visibility of such data is helping businesses to become better corporate citizens. 

It enables them to take responsibility not only for the quality of goods and services but also for the manner in which they are produced.

Visibility of financial data is about more than purchase-to-pay solutions, although we believe this technology is a key enabler. It requires a wider shift in management attitudes towards tracking and valuing an organization’s reputation as a responsible operator.

It is part of being able to prove to customers, partners and regulators that you are not just faster, cheaper and more efficient, but that you uphold high ethical standards that benefit society.

Businesses need visibility, the world thrives through transparency. From the opportunity to simplify operations, spend smarter and do more, automation of finance and procurement empowers businesses to move forward with confidence.

I hope that this report encourages more to recognise the competitive advantage of Visible Commerce.

Learn more in the HBRAS report

Download the HBRAS report, Using Transparency to Enhance Reputation and Reduce Business Risk. See for yourself how organizations can overcome technical, organizational and cultural barriers to fully embrace business transparency.

And for more information about how Basware can help your organization realize its own Visible Commerce Dividend, visit https://r.basware.com/visiblecommerce.

You’ve been fired or made redundant. What do you say to your next boss?

If you’re not proud of how you left your last job, should you lie or tell the truth in your next employment interview?

If it’s never happened to you, it seems like the unthinkable. But if it has, rest assured you’re not alone – being made redundant, or worse, getting fired outright, is a common experience. 

Every year, at least 3% of people are made redundant due to corporate restructuring or downsizing, and many more are either let go or reach a mutual decision to terminate their employment.  

Yet the fact that getting fired is common doesn’t make it easy. And one thing that many people find challenging is how to describe what happened, especially when talking to a recruiter or prospective boss.

Should you lie? Or should you simply tell the truth? If you do tell the truth, do you risk sabotaging your new role? Or if you do lie, could even more be at stake? 

Your reputation and the industry 

Being made redundant or getting fired can be an extremely unpleasant experience. You might feel angry or ashamed, and as a result, may want to ‘save face’ by telling a recruiter or prospective manager that you left for another reason, or that you’re simply still at your previous organisation. 

But Imelda Walsh, manager at The Source, Australia’s premier procurement recruitment consultancy, cautions all procurement professionals against doing this. 

‘Procurement is somewhat of a niche profession,’ she says, ‘and everyone is interconnected. If you aren’t honest, you do run the risk of being caught out.

‘We’ve actually been in the situation a few times where a candidate hasn’t been honest about their reasons for leaving and we’ve discovered this through our network.’ 

Beyond the risk of being ‘found out’, Imelda doesn’t recommend lying simply because of the damage it can do to your personal brand. 

‘If you’re honest,’ she says, ‘it shows you have integrity. If you’re not, it casts doubt over your whole personal brand. It takes an entire career to build a positive personal brand, but only a few minutes to destroy one. 

‘The risk simply isn’t worthwhile.’ 

Deal with your emotions first – don’t vent 

There are undoubtedly many emotions associated with being fired or made redundant, many of them negative. Our natural human response is to take everything personally and to want to vent. But an interview isn’t the time for this, cautions Imelda. 

She says that prior to attending an interview, you need to make a concerted effort to deal with your emotions. In addition to this, you should plan, ahead of time, how you’re going to describe how your employment ended, and ensure you stick to this when you’re in an interview.

‘When candidates aren’t prepared, they tend to go into too much detail about why they left their previous employment,’ she says. ‘This inevitably turns into a vindictive and personal whinge, which can quickly derail an interview.’ 

As recruiters and hiring managers are trying to ascertain your skills, experience and cultural fit, Imelda recommends avoiding at all costs too much focus on the reasons you left your past employer.

How to talk about being fired

Most people would assume that abruptly being asked to leave or mutually decide to leave a role, especially after a short amount of time, is a bad look when you’re re-entering the job market. 

But Imelda doesn’t see it that way: ‘We see a lot of people, really talented people, who mutually decide to leave their role.

‘This can be because the opportunity that was sold to them was misaligned with the reality of the role, or because a change of management has changed their situation.

‘In this case, leaving is the best thing to do. Better that than try to stick it out and do further damage to your career.’ 

If you find yourself in this situation, Imelda recommends being honest, albeit with a professional veneer. She recently encountered someone who did this perfectly: ‘We had an exceptional candidate here recently who said “There was a change of management, and the new team wanted to take the business in a different direction.”

‘After the interview, he discreetly said to me: “Two other people left in the same week as me. I’m sure you can read between the lines.” 

‘Recruiters understand this. We know that not all managers are great, but that a manager can make or break your happiness at work. This is a legitimate reason for leaving or mutually deciding to leave.’ 

How to talk about being made redundant

In years gone by, redundancy was uncommon. But these days? Not so much – 1 in 4 people will be made redundant at some point in their career, with some being made redundant many times. The idea of a ‘job for life’ is rare, and some companies restructure as often as every few years.  

Imelda recommends that if you’re made redundant, simply say so.

‘One of our clients completed two redundancies within less than two years,’ she says. ‘As recruiters, we have a macro view of the industry and we see redundancies all the time. If this has happened to you, just tell us.’ 

Have you ever been made redundant? How have you described it? Tell us in the comments section. 

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