Are you a victim of Supply Chain Payment Bullying?

Anti Bullying messaging is all the rage. We all are hyper focused on the subject for our kids, as many of us were probably the victims of some form of mental (and to a lesser degree) physical bullying.

So as a supplier, how can your buyers “bully” you?

Well there are several ways. According to a poll by the UK’s Federation of Small Businesses, almost 1 in 5 of their members felt they faced unfair practices in the past two years. According to them, the top five “most resented practices” were:

  1. Pay to stay. Also known as “supplier assessment charges” and “supplier investment payments”. The FSB said 5 per cent of respondents had been asked to make a payment or face de-listing.
  2. Long payment terms. “In effect this becomes an interest-free loan from firms in the supply chain to large companies with excessive payment terms,” said the FSB.
  3. Late payment. “Many companies are routinely exceeding agreed terms, or changing terms retrospectively to allow them to miss agreed payment dates,” said the FSB.
  4. Discounts for prompt payment. The FSB described these as “arbitrary discounts big firms give themselves for paying early or even just on time”.
  5. Retrospective discounting. “Some firms seek to apply retrospective discounts to outstanding money owed to a supplier,” said the FSB. “This involves the company effectively changing the terms of the contract signed with the supplier after a contract has been agreed.”

What are some other ways you can be bullied? Well there could be sign on fees to continue business or you may feel pressure to join a dynamic discounting or supply chain finance program.

Are there others? If you have been a victim of supply chain bullying, it would be great to hear your story. Contact me at

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