Talia sheds light on one of the top challenges of the event industry, paying suppliers, during this week’s Tuesday’s with Talia.

One of the things that I’m asked about often and when I talk to companies and hear is one of the top challenges is the topic of paying suppliers. In this very unique category – the event industry – you’ve got hundreds of suppliers because you’re doing events globally, you need a lot of local suppliers, and it may be that you only use them once or twice a year. Onboarding them onto a typical company system is a very difficult process that is one challenge.

The second challenge is also the way that payments are made to suppliers. In events, you have a venue you’re procuring, or a speaking you’re procuring, you may have a deposit that is requested, and then there is a balance, but then there is overtime, and then there are these additions. So your typical ERP type purchase order process does not work well for anyone in this industry.

Companies then wound up going to meeting cards solutions, saying okay, there’s flexibility to be able to put the meeting cards, which are sort of like credit cards, in the hands of the event managers or someone central and when they need a payment they can simply go pay and don’t have to go through this onerous process.

Well now after having a couple years of that, there are some major challenges that come into play. The first is around the visibility. A meeting card does not give you the visibility that you need, they may be high level where you could say, “this is all food and beverage,” or “this is all non-food and beverage,” but if you truly look at any company that’s using meeting card and that data alone, it does not give them granule of visibility that allows them to negotiate.

The second issue is around compliance. I hear a lot of stories around finance people trying to chase planners afterwards to get the invoices, meeting cards don’t have individual accountability to it so the company has got to pay it and someone could theoretically be going and using their meeting card for anything.

The third issue is around budget compliance. You often have a budget that’s allocated and you’re using this card and then you don’t get your statement till 30 days later or more and then suddenly you’ve got these bills and you’ve already spent your budget and there’s all these issues with it. There are definitely significant problems with the meeting card and while it gave the flexibility of payment, we lost compliance and visibility.

People are always asking me for what solution there is to it, and there are solutions that are out there and I think people don’t just say, ok we need a meeting card and that’s the only option, or it’s a regular ERP purchase order system. There is that combination that gives you both and Eved is actually one of those offerings that is able to solve that problem.

We think about it where “how do we get everybody everything,” and that’s where our category specific platform comes in and says, alright we’re going to provide a purchase order solution but it’s going to be geared very much toward this business category that’s going to be simple and easy to use and allow the flexibility that’s needed for the payments. And therefore, it gives the flexibility of the meeting card, but the control and compliance of the purchase order.

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