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Are factors better than banks at providing Supply Chain Finance?

‘Are factors better than banks at providing supply chain finance? ’ 

‘I think that we have a natural advantage in that we are adapting from providing Factoring to Reverse Factoring to Supply Chain Finance and in this we can be better than the banks. 

When you talk to companies – large corporates - and to their CFOs and they say that they have to do something about improving working capital their first thought is that they must work on reducing the DSO. But then when you say ‘working capital is more than just the debtors it is also about dealing with your suppliers and stock’ they say ‘ yes of course and I’ve talked to the bank and they aren’t interested’. So when we introduce Supply Chain Finance in the form of Reverse Factoring as a solution and we show them that it is easy to implement, that it is paperless with simple legal agreements for both the client and the supplier; with lots of flexibility; and that it can be an international programme for suppliers everywhere in the world it creates tangible interest amongst those CFOs. 

They realise that Reverse Factoring is a win, win, win for all parties; 

buyers because they are able to maintain or even improve relationships with their supplier which gets  paid quicker; 
they are able to get commercial discounts for prompt payment; 
they aren’t creating a problem with any bank facility as they are not pledging any assets;
suppliers because on a non recourse contract the risk of non payment disappears;
they receive cash directly and much more quickly from the factor;
factors because they earn a good return on the facility;

the debt is low risk.  

In Supply Chain Finance generally there are still obstacles to be overcome before a buyer can become a client, and these obstacles will be easier or harder to overcome depending on the country, and they tend to be in three main areas namely law, regulation and technology.  

But these three elements will nevertheless all relate to the payment of invoices and the law, regulation and technology related thereto is something with which factors are very familiar whereas banks are not. In this regard banks aren’t naturally part of the supply chain whereas factors are already real participants.  

So yes, factors are more naturally suited to providing supply chain finance than banks and it is up to factors to make their advantages count. 

Marc Dedry will be speaking at the BCR conference on Understanding best practice in supply chain financing: how to make your SCF offering succeed? – Eurofactor best practice. 

 To attend the conference, please click on the links below.

RFIx 2012 Conference is COMING SOON22-23 March 2012, Amsterdam, Marriott Hotel 

To view the Conference programme please click here.

To register for the Conference please click here.


Source: Factorscan BCR

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