May 17, 2020

How to tackle modern supply chain finance

supply chain finance
cloud computing technology
2 min
Authored by Gavin Davidson, Manufacturing Vertical Lead at NetSuite
Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Given the inter-dependency of business on its supply chain, the knock on effect of supplier and subcontrac...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.



Given the inter-dependency of business on its supply chain, the knock on effect of supplier and subcontractor pressure on corporate buyers is something not to be ignored.

Many larger companies have found themselves at the sharp end of supply chain disruption with research suggesting that £58m was lost dealing with the fall-out of disruptions in 2013 alone. According to a report by BACS Payment Schemes, one in four SMEs said that if the amount it was owed grew to £50,000, it would be enough to send it into bankruptcy; a sobering thought.

In its broadest sense, supply chain finance offers a way for large companies to help their supply chains improve cash flow by giving them access to cash using their own cash reserves and/or credit rating.

Over the pond, President Obama has just launched SupplierPay, a new partnership with the private sector to strengthen small businesses by increasing their working capital, so they can grow their businesses and hire more workers.

In reality, traditional supply chain finance remains the preserve of the largest companies due to cost and complexity of implementing the outdated systems and processes needed to make supply chain finance work.

Problems such as the banks restricting their services to investment grade companies, difficulty in getting suppliers and subcontractors on board, and a lack of alignment between purchasing and finance teams in large corporates are all factors in this issue.

Thanks to innovations in the market and the use of technology to disintermediate the banks and bring all the parties together in online platforms, the situation is changing. Cloud-based systems has the benefit of no IT hardware implementation costs, no legal fees and no substantial finance costs for the corporate, making it accessible to a far wider range of businesses.

Systems such as Platform Black’s uses peer-to-peer principles to bring investors, suppliers and subcontractors together. Invoices that have been approved by the lead contractor can be traded to investors, allowing the suppliers to get early payment.

For suppliers and subcontractors, the prospect of being able to access early payment on an approved invoice (to 100% of value less finance and transaction costs) is an additional incentive to provide goods and services on budget, on time, and to the correct standard.  Investors base their required return on the creditworthiness of the lead contractor alone.

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Jun 23, 2021

SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers

2 min
SAP Ariba will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle for more than 25,000 suppliers at this year’s Expo 2020 Dubai

SAP Ariba will provide a unified digital procurement and payment platform for more than 25,000 suppliers at Expo 2020 Dubai

The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. 

As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network. 

Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"

Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is  “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window. 

“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”

To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time. 

Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”

About Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution. 

Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors. 

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