Supply chain finance is growing at 20% a year, with around US$2tn in payables available for financing. But how can this be made safer and more sustainable – and accessible to SMEs? flow reports on key themes at BCR’s 4th Supply Chain Finance Summit in Amsterdam
When around 150 participants descended on Amsterdam’s Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky to hear more about how technology is extending the reach and transaction transparency to SME suppliers, they were taken on something of a roller coaster - and came out smiling.
“Everything links back to understanding the underlying physical supply chain, the trade cycle and the cash conversion cycle,” said Trade Advisory Network’s John Bugeja. His point is that there needs to be more collaboration between the physical and the financial world and the key stakeholders in that. Ideally, the buyer, the seller, the carrier, the customs authority, the insurers and the inspection agencies all connect to create an ecosystem. While the industry is not there yet, it remains a goal and, he said, it was important to move forward towards that in stages that were beneficial.
It was this grounding in commercial flows that shaped the conversations, covering how supply chain finance (SCF) is reported in financial statements so that analysts know what debt is and what is not, how procurement and corporate treasuries work together so invoices are just touched once, and how SCF can drive sustainable manufacturing processes.
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