Measuring Supplier Onboarding Success in Trade Financing


My colleague David Gustin (Trade Financing Matters) likes to say that supplier onboarding success is measured in 3 simple ways:


  1. The success rate onboarding suppliers you targeted
  2. The success rate in having suppliers use the service
  3. The retention rate after a period of time

We might also add another metric to this list: the “success rate adhering to 100% of compliance requirements.” There are other metrics, too, to consider that are centered on the successful integration of programs with other initiatives like accounts payable automation, P2P and supply chain risk management.

Yet even taken alone, David’s 3 metrics are a perfect starting point to measure the success of supplier onboarding initiatives in buyer-led trade financing, regardless of program type. But don’t ignore the other aspect of the onboarding effort either – having suppliers collect their 
own information and conduct due diligence. After all, retention rates will suffer if suppliers leave programs.

As David also observes, “In reverse factoring programs, even if suppliers are attracted to cheap Libor-priced money, they still should get an outside auditor opinion to ensure the receivable is a true-sale and complies with FAS-140 – Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities.” Part of any onboarding effort should include educating suppliers not only on requirements and benefits, but also potential due diligence efforts they should conduct.

This post was based in part on content in the Spend Matters Perspective, Supplier Enablement for Invoice Discounting and Supply Chain Finance: Background, Tips, and Secrets for Success. In this research brief, Jason Busch and David Gustin explore the history and future of supplier enablement, centering not only on P2P processes, but also onboarding for trade financing (e.g., supply chain finance, invoice discounting, etc.) initiatives.

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