Supply Chain Finance – Join Us On Thursday Evening With Tradeshift

We mentioned here this week’s major social and business event - the Tradeshift debate and office opening celebration on Thursday night at 6.30pm, in the City of London, with supply chain finance (SCF) as the theme for the business part of the evening - “Unleash your Working Capital” is the title of the panel discussion. I will be chairing that with my usual mix of curiosity and ignorance …

We suspect that many procurement executives have some understanding of SCF without really feeling comfortable that they could give a convincing explanation to their boss about exactly how it works or can work. But this is a real opportunity for procurement to add value to their organisation - very measurable and direct value too.

So my task, as facilitator of a panel discussion with three very knowledgeable panelists is to extract as much real understanding and  information from them as possible (and make sure they don’t go into sales mode). We really want this to be stimulating and informative, not a boring technical or marketing presentation!

The esteemed panellists are:

  • Vinay Mendonca, Global Head of Product and Propositions, HSBC
  • Alex Farrugia, Head of Supply Chain Finance, Santander
  • Sourav Niyogi, Managing Director – Digital Supply Chain and Cost Transformation, Accenture

One thing that became clear to me some time ago is that if you don’t have a grip on your invoicing  process, which means a largely if not totally eInvoicing approach, it is unlikely that you will get the most out of SCF. So with the Tradeshift platform and network providing that infrastructure, it will be interesting to hear those senior folk from HSBC and Santander explaining how they can help their customers and of course the buyers benefit from SCF.

I hope we will get into some of the differences between buyer-driven SCF and more general programmes, and look at whether dynamic discounting really is the future or just a bit of a gimmick. And will Blockchain throw everything up into the air? The large banks are certainly looking at Blockchain as an opportunity and a threat – and procurement leaders should probably do the same. But I’m not clear how those developments might fit into the SCF picture; there’s another line of enquiry for Thursday.

So, we hope and expect that this will be a stimulating debate, a networking opportunity and (according to Tradeshift) there will be food, drink and music too. Having been at Reading Festival the other weekend and seen “secret sets” from the amazing Queens of the Stone Age and Wolf Alice, I doubt whether this will quite live up to that musically, but it should be an enjoyable and useful evening. Numbers are limited – so do reserve your place here.

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