Happy Thanksgiving and David Gustin talks SupplierPay at the White House!

Happy Thanksgiving to our readers in the United States of America! Because of that holiday, we don't have our usual Friday round-up from our sister site in the US, but instead we thought we would pick up on one of their big recent stories.

Because it is not every day that a Spend Matters colleague gets to visit the White House to personally advise Barack Obama on key strategic issues, but David Gustin recently had that honour. OK, so I am very slightly exaggerating, but David, who is the man behind Trade Financing Matters recently did attend a get together at that iconic location to talk about the SupplierPay initiative. Here is David:

"On Monday, 17 November, the White House held a meeting with close to 50 corporate attendees around the SupplierPay initiative. It’s not often you get the opportunity to travel to Washington DC and be invited to speak. When my 17 year old triplets caught wind of this, I immediately went from Old Man back to my days of Superman, at least for a small chunk of time.

The White House released their press release on the day of the event, excited that 21 new companies signed the pledge. See President Obama’s SupplierPay Initiative Expands.  I mean what CEO is not going to take Obama’s call and how can you say No to Early Pay, that is Motherhood and Apple Pie stuff."

SupplierPay aims to get large firms to pay the smaller firms in their supply chains promptly, which of course helps the individual firms, encourages innovative and growing businesses, and gets more cash flowing around the wider economy. We've seen similar initiatives in the UK, although our take is they have up to now been a little half-hearted - the new legislation around Lord Young's recent report may change that.

The US programme seems to be relying on the better nature of firms, and perhaps a certain amount of naming and shaming organisations who do not sign up to the scheme, rather than legislation, so we'll see how that approach goes.

Not surprisingly, Mr Gustin has been writing about his experience, and the programme generally, and you can read all about it here and here. Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters US has also chipped in to the debate, and his take on it is here.

The topic also links into one of THE hot areas in procurement right now - supply chain finance and dynamic discounting. That suggests there is a win:win here, with large buyers able to offer interesting early payment and finance options to their suppliers, and maybe even make some money out of it themselves (see our previous articles about Oxygen, Tungsten, Taulia etc). More to come on all that shortly as well.


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