In Part I, we discussed how PrimeRevenue, a provider of Supply Chain Finance solutions that provides supply chain finance solutions to over 12,000 customers, including a large number of Fortune 500 and Global 3000 companies, in 40 countries and that processes Billions of dollars of transactions each year, provides a supply chain financing solution that goes beyond just providing a platform to sell receivables and includes an analytics component that helps a buying organization figure out how to best meet its working capital needs.
In particular, as part of their platform, they provide a module by the name of SCiMap that provides a consolidated and classified analysis of your spend, enriched by insights from PrimeRevenue’s global database, based on detailed and updated market intelligence that allows you to make better buying decisions as well as negotiate optimized payment terms, putting the power to improve your working capital in your hands. It does this by analyzing all of your spend data, presenting you with potential opportunities for payment term extension, and providing you with a what-if analysis platform that allows you to tailor a plan to meet your needs in a manner that is consistent with your level of risk.
The potential opportunities for working capital improvement are summarized on the unique SCiMap dashboard that summarizes:
- Commodity Standard Opportunities
for which commodities are you paying faster than market average?
- Vendor Standard Opportunities
which vendors are you paying faster than your competitors?
- Parent Standard Opportunities
which vendors are you paying faster than the average time in which their parent or sibling organizations are paid?
- Country Standard Opportunities
which vendors are you paying faster than the average DPO for the country?
- Cost Neutral Opportunities
which vendors could be paid later with no impact to their finances? (e.g. they
are cash rich while you are cash poor or they are financing at 90 days and you are
paying at 60 days)
- Discount Opportunities
which vendors could you convert from early payment discount terms (that they are
unable to effectively take advantage of) to standard terms?
- Inventory Turnover Opportunities
which terms could be extended to match inventory days and associated carrying costs?
- Buyer Standard Opportunities
which vendors are you paying faster than your average payment terms?
(note that if your average payment terms are worse than market averages, these may
not be real opportunities)
From this dashboard, that will typically identify hundreds of millions of working capital that could potentially be freed up in a typical multi-billion dollar company within a matter of weeks, a senior Supply Management analyst can dive into each pot of opportunities, identify the commodities and vendor in question, access the credit-rating and average finance rate for each vendor, and determine if the opportunity is real or not. SCiMap can even do program design to help procurement determine what suppliers will be targeted first based on different criteria to maximize the opportunity. From here, the buyer can identify the real opportunities for working capital improvement that will not endanger the vendors or increase the overall supply chain cost to the end consumer. The Supply Management analyst can then create a term extension model that will benefit the organization without hurting the supply chain. Then in SCiMap procurement can report what actually happened in execution to see where the model was successful or had challenges.
This is important because, despite the best efforts of your accounts receivables department, receivables collection will only take an organization so far, which means the organization will have to hang on to cash longer to improve working capital at some point. Inventory optimization will help, but if the Supply Management organization is mature, inventory will have been optimized long ago and there will be no more opportunities to improve working capital. Furthermore, during periods of prolonged recession, you know that Treasury is going to demand term extension as a way to improve the cash position of the company, and you have to be prepared for this because you know better than everyone that you can’t just increase payment terms from 60 to 90 and not negatively impact your supply chain. Not only will some suppliers be unable to bear the term extension, others will take back the benefits that you negotiated in exchange for faster payment. Preferred customer status and order fulfillment during a supply shortage? Forget it! Faster-than-guaranteed response times on service? Dream on! Marketing perks? Ha ha! And let’s not forget the fact that if you are already paying some vendors slower than market average for the commodity, vendor, or country, you might be paying more than you have to and speeding up those payment terms might decrease your overall costs – not having to pay at all improves working capital much more than paying late.
The SCiMap solution, which is unique, is a must-have for any organization that wants to truly optimize it’s working capital in a way that won’t come back to bite it in the @ss at contract renewal time, especially when you consider the fact that PrimeRevenue has analyzed trillions of dollars in spend and will only present you with opportunities for consideration that are real for at least one group of companies in the global supply chain. While all the opportunities may not be real for your organization, you won’t waste time analyzing commodities or vendors that obviously cannot handle a term extension. This gives you the ammunition to push back on Treasury or the C-Suite when they get the hair-brained idea that just because their competitor was able to increase payment terms by 30 days and get away with it that your organization can too.