Since 2000, RPMG Research Corporation, founded by Dr. Richard Palmer and Dr. Mahendra Gupta, has conducted robust studies on the use and acceptance of Commercial Cards. Lynn Larson, Recharged Education, interviewed Dr. Palmer about The 2014 Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey Results, acquiring some unique insights; see below. The interview continues on a separate page. A related blog post provides part of the interview content.
Interview with Dr. Richard Palmer
Q: When comparing the 2014 P-Card results to previous studies, what are the most notable changes?
A: There are two kinds of changes, one in format and one in findings. With regard to format, the 2014 Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey Results are now three separate, searchable PDF reports. The reports are broken down into (a) Market Trends and Best Practice Program Choices, (2) Purchasing Card Program Profiles by Organization Type and Size, and (3) The Card Issuer’s Role in Purchasing Card Program Success. We hope that the breaking out of the reports will make it easier for readers to find the information they seek.
With respect to content, it is noticeable that more “best practice programs” are experiencing a plateau in their card use. In general, I see two components to this phenomenon: (1) the desire to use cards has run ahead of supplier acceptance in the market, and (2) a constant reconsideration of how to exercise appropriate control over spending, which causes changes in the policies, procedures, and practices related to card use. To help organizations get past their plateau, we have a chapter dedicated to recognizing and estimating the (significant) size of Purchasing Card spending opportunities that exist for most organizations.
Q: For which topic or set of questions are you always most interested in seeing the survey results?
A: I always enjoy the open-ended responses that express creative ideas about “best practice” card use. It amazes me how organizations find unique ways to use card technology to their benefit. In the 2014 Results, I think there are also very interesting analyses of the areas of potential for card spending and the ongoing trade-offs organizations are making between control and efficiency.
Read the remainder of the interview for more insights, as Dr. Palmer:
- elaborates on program control
- notes an area for which the results are continuously disappointing
- describes key opportunities for the majority of organizations
- comments on the challenges with supplier acceptance of card payments
- shares what keeps them motivated to conduct the industry studies
About the Survey Results
The 2014 Purchasing Card Benchmark Survey Results (the “Report”) is their eighth edition of the Purchasing Card series. It offers a variety of new insights and information to benefit the reader based on data and analysis from over 3,000 purchasing card users across North America representing public and private corporations, government, universities and colleges, school districts, and not-for-profit organizations.
The complete report includes a PDF copy of three separate reports that constitute the 2014 results, including:
- Market Trends and Best Practice Program Choices (the “Main” report)
- Purchasing Card Program Profiles by Organization Type and Size (Report #2)
- The Card Issuer’s Role in Purchasing Card Program Success (Report #3)
Access a summary from RPMG Research and consider purchasing the complete report.