Working Capital. The weak link in supply chain

By Tony Duggan - November 07, 2023

Many corporates with access to multiple sources of working capital do not realise that suppliers have, in comparison, very little access to working capital.

As banks have reduced relationship banking due to costs so suppliers access to working capital has deteriorated significantly. Add to that, suppliers working capital has not recovered from the impact of lockdown, impacting their credit ratings.

So how does this affect corporates? 

  • High COGS inflation - reducing corporate margins
  • Poor order fulfilment levels - resulting in over ordering to compensate, and higher mark downs of overstocks.
  • Poor response times - resulting in lost sales
  • More capital tied up at the corporate due to increased inventory - to counter the impact of a weak supply chain.

Old Supply Chain Finance- Many corporates have been discouraged from introducing supplier working capital programmes due to legacy issues of old supply chain finance programmes. These have included, onerous legals, the complexity of the solutions available and the cost of finance available. Combined, these have led to poor supplier take-up and a poor ROI for the corporates efforts.

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New AI driven working capital marketplace

Crossflow AI driven working capital market place enables corporates to transform suppliers working model enabling efficiency in the supply chain, reducing COGS inflation, improving supply chain response times, building supplier relationships and reducing capital tied up in inventory.

The design of the Crossflow service enables suppliers to:

  • Fast sign up - online in minutes, with click wrap legal agreements,
  • Competitive cost of finance - enabling access to Crossflows AI driven working capital marketplace which is constantly scanning the marketplace for the best cost of funds for that supplier.

Corporates, equally can sign up to the marketplace agreement in minutes with:

  • Minimal IT effort - with integration in days as Crossflow used the corporates existing file formats.
  • Outsourced supplier rollout - managed by Crossflow to support rapid rollout.

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This ensures that there is high participation by suppliers in the working capital programme enabling corporates to leverage these benefits to:

  • Reduce COGS inflation - by lowering the cost of capital to suppliers
  • Improve order fulfilment levels - by enabling the supplier to purchase raw materials in advance for orders
  • Transform response times - by introducing more certainty on cashflow into the supply chain
  • Reduce the need for corporates to increase inventories - by enabling a more agile supply chain.



Tony Duggan- Tony is one of the founders of Crossflow. He served as Supply Chain Director at Wickes and B&Q prior to serving as Product Development Director at SWIFT, the global banking network. He also managed an outsourced fintech development project for HSBC in Hong Kong.

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