Supplier finance under scrutiny

By John O'Hanlon

With suppliers facing increasing pressure, government initiatives that improve working capital and encourage early payment spell viability as opposed to oblivion. A round table is to be hosted on March 18th at the 2015 Corporate Finance Summit organised by the Dutch CFO Community in Bussum, the Netherlands. Titled “Supply Chain Finance Decoded: Understanding why the Dutch government is backing the solution that’s taking corporations by storm” it is hosted by the American supply chain finance specialist PrimeRevenue Inc.

This year’s event will cover many of the latest developments in the field of corporate finance and treasury including improving working capital and cash flow and alternative financing sources. The round table will focus on the Betaal Me Nu (Pay Me Now) government initiative and examine why supply chain finance is the silver bullet to simultaneously improve working capital and relationships between corporate buyers and their suppliers.

The event will include a case study on successful implementation from KPN, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Europe. It will feature well known industry experts such as Dr Michiel Steeman, lector for Supply Chain Finance at the Windesheim University and founder, chairman of the Supply Chain Finance Community, Pim van Bokhoven, Corporate Controller KPN, Hank Janssen, Senior Business Development Officer KPN and Nathan Feather, CFO and General Manager EMEA PrimeRevenue Inc.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has noted the role of supply chain finance as a compelling solution for improving the economy by inserting liquidity into the market place. Betaal Me Nu is now in the process of full implementation by the Dutch government. It aims to support local, small businesses with solutions to get payments on early terms at attractive financing rates. Its purpose is to support local, small businesses with solutions allowing them to receive payment on early terms and at attractive financing rates. The initiative involves a joined commitment by large buyer organisations and supply chain finance providers to work together to provide attractive financing solutions for Dutch suppliers.

The Dutch government is planning to set up a taskforce which includes leading businesses to make supply chain finance available to small and medium sized suppliers in a responsible manner. Leading Dutch corporates such as DSM, Superunie, Randstad, Friesland Campina and Heineken have already expressed a wish to participate.

Betaal Me Nu is similar to the US SupplierPay scheme initiated in 2014 and the UK’s Supply Chain Finance Scheme. The UK was one of the first countries to launch a supply chain finance initiative. Prime Minister David Cameron announced the ground breaking scheme in 2012 providing a multi-billion boost for UK supply chains to help small businesses grow.

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