Data will be key for stronger supply chains in 2021

By Anna Porra, Commercial Strategy Director, Barclaycard Payments
Barclaycard Payments' Anna Porra shares insight on how leveraging data analytics can help businesses avoid pitfalls in the procurement payments process...

Corporations of all sizes rely on suppliers to provide specialist products and services. 2020 was a year of huge change, with many smaller businesses either reducing trading or having to stop production at times due to restrictions throughout the pandemic. 

To ensure business continuity, many companies have had to rapidly rethink their supply chains and how they source different products and services. As we look to the rest of 2021, one way businesses can get ahead is by understanding the importance of effective data analytics in improving the resilience of their supply chain and, ultimately, the profitability of their business. 

Modern data analytics platforms can provide procurement departments with a comprehensive picture of their supply chain, helping them understand who their suppliers are; where they are located; how important are they to the business; how at risk they are and, most importantly, what the business can do to help and secure them within their supply chain. 

"Insufficient data and clunky supplier payments processes mean that businesses of all sizes are losing money and putting their supply chains at risk"


Anna Porra, Commercial Strategy Director, Barclaycard Payments

Data analytics can help improve businesses’ payments processes, which can play a pivotal role in the survival of many smaller suppliers. Even before the pandemic, the FSB estimated that 50,000 small firms went out of business each year because of late payments. Further research also suggests 62% of small businesses have experienced an increase in late payments as a result of Covid-19, meaning many more are feeling the pinch. Paying suppliers on time and with their preferred method of payment, can improve working practices and allow businesses to take advantage of any savings available. 

At Barclaycard Payments we have a service that combines accounts payable data points with third-party data , to help customers develop the right payment solutions for different suppliers – thanks to proprietary logic and algorithms, and an automated decision engine.

Barclaycard Payment Intelligence (BPI) helps businesses catalogue their suppliers based on the number and value of transactions as well as their size, location and industry, and whether or not early payment is likely to generate savings. For companies with thousands of suppliers on their books – big and small – this can offer a significant time and cost saving for key decision makers. 

Insufficient data and clunky supplier payments processes mean that businesses of all sizes are losing money and putting their supply chains at risk. By embracing the latest technology and data analytics, companies can maintain vital supplier relationships, futureproof their operations and ultimately support smaller businesses through difficult times.


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