3 tips to maintain flexibility in supply chain management

Today’s globalized business environment demands flexibility – especially in the area of supply chain management. Learn three tips that will help you stay adaptable and resilient no matter what comes your way.


Tags: International, Best practices, Risk mitigation
Published: October 14, 2020

A recent survey1 indicated that 94% of Fortune 1000 companies experienced supply chain disruption in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Statistics like this emphasize just how important it is for organizations to have finance partners that can easily adapt to changing requirements.

End-to-end supply chain finance solutions, when managed effectively, provide significant benefits to all parties involved. These arrangements can reduce risk, support a cash management strategy, simplify payment operations and more. Use these three tips as a guide to help ensure you’re trusting the right people and solutions to support your specific needs.

Tip 1: Consider a “one-stop shop,” but avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Supply chain financing partners can help buyers and sellers meet the shared goals of optimizing working capital while managing risk. No two transactions are alike, so having partners that can meet bespoke requirements is key to staying nimble and avoiding headaches. To ease the burden of managing several parties in a single transaction, consider a single partner that can fill multiples roles, including:

  • Account bank
  • Trustee
  • Paying agent
  • Custodian

Consolidating partners can streamline the process, but you should also make sure your partner has enough flexibility to tailor their services meet to your needs. You should never be forced to fit within a pre-packaged approach. Whether you’re having preliminary discussions, going through the RFP process or closing the contract, make sure you have a deep understanding of how your supply chain finance team will manage processes and reach key milestones. Items to consider include:

  • Account opening timelines
  • Transaction schedules
  • Infrastructure and technology
  • Currency requirements

Tip 2: Find a partner that ensures easy onboarding.

It’s important to find a service provider that’s easy to work with from day one. That’s why it’s crucial to find a partner that has an efficient, simplified process to help keep your deals moving forward. They should be equipped to do whatever it takes, even if that means meeting same-day account opening or disbursement requirements.

Today’s know your customer (KYC) rules often create a laborious task within an onboarding checklist. Sophisticated onboarding systems and experienced teams can help create a seamless integration so you don’t have to worry about pain points, including:

  • Slow onboarding, KYC and account setup:  Our team is fast, efficient and local (all onboarding is done in-house in London).
  • Inconsistent documentation: We provide an organised, on-time, transparent documentation review that’s continuously managed throughout the process.
  • Poor client service: Our staff is based in London and Dublin, so you can count on us to make decisions quickly and respond rapidly throughout the life of the deal.

Tip 3: Don’t discount trustworthiness.

You deserve to have a partner you can trust. While it is important to be quick and cost efficient, you should also look for strength and stability. These qualities in an organization can help assure you that your business needs won’t be compromised. Get to know an organization at the foundational level, as well as how they function day to day. Also, make sure to review the following background items to assess reliability when looking at potential supply chain financing partners:

  • Credit ratings
  • Industry awards and accreditation
  • Financial strength

To learn more about how to create bespoke transactions to support your supply chain financing needs, contact Cameron Munden at cameron.munden@usbank.com or +44 (0) 20 7330 2315.