Large Corporations take active lead in realizing Pan-European Supply Chain Automation

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On September 20th 2007, IBM hosted an event for TWIST in London that resulted in the formation of a Corporate Supply Chain Panel. Representatives from General Electric, ENI, Stora Enso, Cisco, HP, IBM, AKZO Nobel and others created a pro-active network of large corporations to facilitate a range of supply chain automation initiatives in the EU. Representatives from the EU Commission as well as 6 EU Member States were also represented at this first meeting of the Corporate Supply Chain Panel.

This initiative is to be seen in the context of the EU Commission’s drive to remove bottlenecks for e-identification, e-ordering, e-invoicing and e-payments across the EU. The initiators of the Corporate Supply Chain Panel have all participated in the EU Commission’s Informal Task Force on e-Invoicing, which issued in July 2007 a report on bottlenecks to e-invoicing in the EU and recommended actions for resolution of these bottlenecks. The drivers of this Corporate Supply Chain Panel, Tom Buschman from TWIST and Gianfranco Tabasso from the EACT (European Association of Corporate Treasurers), are also actively involved in negotiating corporate requirements for pan-European payment processing within the context of SEPA with the EU Commission, ECB and the banking community.

The group has delivered a draft SEPA white paper, which is currently being assessed in detail by regulators and banking organizations. The group is further finalizing a best practices document for e-invoicing and the declaration of VAT on e-invoices. This work is being done in collaboration with Ernst & Young and fiscal auditors of EU Member States that are organized in the EU Sponsored Fiscalis organisation.

In particular, e-Invoicing may become pivotal in realizing wide scale secure electronic communication in Europe and beyond. The business case for e-invoicing is estimated to be very substantial (approx. EUR 250 billion per year in the EU) and would affect any company in Europe, irrespective of size or geographical location. Business to Business e-Invoicing touches on issues such as cross border legislation, e-Identification, e-Procurement, e-Payments and in general the trust in electronic commerce. The EU Commission is determined to support efforts that remove the existing hurdles to e-Invoicing in the EU, establishing a formal “Expert Group” by the end of 2007. The Corporate Supply Chain panel will actively seek participation in this Expert Group, which is likely to become the point of co-ordination for all stakeholders around e-Invoicing, e-Procurement and possibly e-Payments.

For further information with regards to the Corporate Supply Chain Panel and the related EU-led initiatives, feel free to contact Tom Buschman, chairman of TWIST, via


Meeting Agenda

Welcome and introduction to the meeting

Promising Developments (SEPA, EU e-Invoicing Steering Committee vis-à-vis Financial Supply Chain standards, EACT Cast and TWIST ID initiative)

Tom Buschman, TWIST Presentation

Business Benefits of Supply Chain Finance, Leveraging Information

Mark Nathan, IBM Presentation

Corporate Perspective: Hurdles from a Business Perspective of e-Invoicing and VAT Administration in the EU

Karl-Heinz Haydl, GE Presentation

Corporate Perspective: Practical Hurdles and Solutions for Implementing e-Invoicing in a Range of EU Countries: Automation, Security & Dealing with Paperwork

Tony Nisbett, IBM Presentation

Inside & Outside of Papinet, The Paper Industry Initiative

Eric Olofsson, Stora Enso Presentation

Wrap up of Business Perspective: e-Invoicing, e-Payments and Continuous Monitoring of Controls

Steven Hartjes, Ernst & Young Presentation

Public Administration Perspective: EU Commission Policies on B2B Online Trading and Internet Marketplaces

Eva Gerhards, DG Enterprise, EU Commission Presentation

EU Member States Responding to EU Commission Encouragement: Implementing Cross Border e-Procurement and e-Invoicing

Klaus Vilstrup Pedersen, Danish National IT and Telecom Agency Presentation Part 1 Presentation Part 2

Plenary Discussion: The Key Administrative & Technical Requirements

Panel of all speakers and moderated by Tom Buschman, TWIST

Next steps


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