Category: Government and not-for-profit

Winner: Crown Commercial Service – United Kingdom

Partners: Taulia and Greensill Capital

Summing up: The UK government has taken very successful first steps in what will be a public sector-wide supply chain finance programme.

What the judges said: “Rapid enrolment of a large number of suppliers in this partnership between the public sector, private sector suppliers and a fintech, offering both reverse factoring and dynamic discounting on the same platform.”

Key facts:

  • Crown Commercial Services sought to promote supply chain health while ensuring value for the taxpayer
  • First rollout of the programme to 1,500 pharmacies showed a rapid and smooth onboarding process
  • The UK government has the flexibility of using external funding or its own funds, on a platform that can cater for reverse factoring and dynamic discounting

The entry:

The UK government has long been aware of the funding challenges faced by suppliers. The purpose of Crown Commercial Services (CCS) is to maximise commercial benefit and value for central government and the wider public sector by promoting supply chain health.

In 2017, CCS put together a programme known as the Supplier Early Payment Solutions (SEPS) which was made available to all qualifying suppliers to the UK government. This also supports the government’s #SmarterGov campaign, which drives innovation and delivers savings and service improvements across the public sector.

After an open and fair evaluation process, platform provider Taulia and finance partner Greensill Capital were awarded the exclusive contract. Funding can also be provided the government itself.

The scheme succeeded an earlier but much smaller programme operated by a global bank – a programme that proved difficult to scale up. The Taulia/Greensill programme spans government departments and includes the National Health Service (NHS), schools and universities, and local authorities/city councils.

SEPS demonstrated early success with its first project rollout as 1,500 contractors supplying the NHS Business Service Authority were onboarded within nine weeks, helping pharmacies to accelerate funds owed to them for prescription fees. A further 8,500 contractors will be onboarded over the next 12 months. More than £170m in early payments have been accelerated so far.

Taulia managed the supplier onboarding process which involved understanding suppliers’ working capital needs, the payment process landscape, and specific subject-matter expertise, all leading to a rapid and smooth onboarding.
Stakeholders were agreed on the principle of value of UK taxpayers and improved access to funding for suppliers. CCS and NHS BSA are different government departments that aligned their objectives, KPIs and communication to ensure project success.

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