TradeCard: Transaction Management for the Global Supply Chain Part I

In yesterday’s post on how it’s sourcing, procurement, and global trade management, we mentioned how a critical part of global trade is finance and document management. One company that facilitates this process is TradeCard, an end-to-end SaaS transaction management solution that connects over 4,000 buyer and supplier companies across the world with local support in over 50 countries. And while they aren’t the only company that facilitates this process, with notable competitors being Integration Point and their extensive suite of import, export, and supply chain compliance solutions and TradeBeam with their import, export, and visibility solutions, they are the first solution that I’ve seen that implements end-to-end transaction management from the PO to final settlement (including chargebacks) with support for financing, document management, 3rd party freight forwarders, and factory floor shipment packaging. Furthermore, their solution, which supports the physical, financial, and information flows from all parties, focusses on the alignment of the flows.

The financial flow is supported by way of a procure-to-pay solution that enables pre- and post- export financing solutions, payment protection, invoice discounting, settlement, and chargebacks. Through agreements and alliances with over 25 banks, insurers, and other third parties, the TradeCard platform allows a suppier to request financing as soon as the purchase order is received. Then, depending on the supplier’s credit rating and the amount of the request, the request will be forwarded to one or more financing partners who will offer financing at standard terms or the TradeCard credit line, where the TradeCard platform can automatically grant certain financing requests under standard terms on behalf of the partners in the financial network.

The time of the financing request is flexible. The supplier can request financing at any point from the receipt of the purchase order to the receipt of goods by the buyer, and might even be able to request financing beyond receipt of the goods by the buyer, depending on the buyer’s standard payment terms. In addition, the platform allows the supplier to offer invoice discounting on early payment by the buyer as soon as the invoice has been accepted. Finally, the platform allows for electronic payments, which completes the end-to-end financial lifecycle of the transaction.

The physical flow is supported by their collaboration solution, which allows buyers and suppliers to collaboratively share current demand data and collaborate on forecasts and production plans, the Factory Xpress solution that allows for the creation and execution of detailed packing plans, and the document management solution that allows for the creation and transmission of documents that are required by freight forwarders, customs agents (for import and export), and distribution centers.

The information flow is supported by their Procure-to-Pay, Collaboration, and Factory Xpress solutions as well as their TradeCard Advantage solution that allows for queries and reports across the platform and the transaction data that it contains. It’s also supported by their new Custom Objects Toolkit that allows TradeCard to quickly create custom extensions — that can take the form of integrations, reports, or global trade documents — for customers on an as-needed basis.

By integrating the three flows, TradeCard provides a single view into the global supply chain for buyers, suppliers, factories, and partners around the world, which can be integrated into the platform as needed. TradeCard can, and has, integrated multiple ERP, best-of-breed, and home-grown sourcing, procurement, and global trade solutions into its platform in support of its hundreds of global Fortune 3000 customers. Furthermore, over 150 service providers already inject services into the platform in the form of financing, payment protection, inspection, and logistics, which a customer can take advantage of day one.

Tomorrow’s post will dive into the physical supply chain flow and the solutions that TradeCard provides.