We know a week is a long time in politics, but it’s an even longer time in business – especially in the world of the SME, where market conditions and the responses required to manage them can change daily.
Increasingly what this means is that the software that SMEs use to run their business expenses, as well as meet their clients’ needs, are often not fit for purpose or cannot be adapted quickly enough to confront new challenges as they arise.
Now, software must evolve continuously, with developers able to build in changes quickly and incrementally. It is the most logical path to take and delivers the first of the 12 principles in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development: customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
There must be a better way for SMEs to get the solutions they need to drive their businesses forward.
Caught between the general inadequate ‘free’ apps they find online and the so-called ‘best of breed’ solutions out in the market, the result is not satisfactory. Both options force SMEs to accept new tools that need to be integrated with what they already have in-house, and which add to the ever-growing list of business apps employees use to do their job.
Payments providers are missing a huge opportunity by not offering integrated spend management software solutions to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). They are the largest business community in any country – and the one likely to gain the biggest benefits.
Key challenges faced by SMEs:
- The range/volume of non-strategic purchases, accounting for 80% of SME’s supplier and transactional spend management volume
- The considerable effort to manage this vast, yet typically low value, spend
- The lack of real-time access to the financial impact of this spend on running their business
Take a look at our SME paper specifically developed for issuers wanting to better support and value the SME market. The value of the SME spend market
Feature article in the Enterprise Times regarding neo1.
When KDS first decided to enter the SME market they made a brave decision, according to Hastings. She said: “It takes a bit of courage as a small tech company to say: If we are going to approach the SME market lets really rethink the best way to do it rather than using our existing technology and re do it.”
Travel and expense is often the second or third largest area of controllable spend for today’s companies. Representing a significant proportion of a company’s annual budget, that’s a lot of cash being shelled out. With the right tools and approach – it can be an area of significant cost savings for companies looking to optimize spending. However, many companies continue to (or try to) enforce manual, outdated processes that are limited in functionality and inefficient – and have employees turning to other channels to book travel.
KDS, the company behind neo1, has spent more than 20 years navigating the business spend ecosystem from travel and payments to finance system integration. The following diagram illustrates how complex this system can be, the dependencies and connectors that are required to take a buying decision from A: ‘I need to book a facility for team training’ to Z: ‘that purchase is confirmed, the training is complete, paid for, tax collected and appropriately accounted for in your company accounts’. All of this takes time to understand, and technical strength to bring together to offer a compelling user experience.