Category: Transport and logistics

Winner: Kuehne + Nagel – Switzerland

Partners: Citi and Tradeshift

Summing up: Kuehne + Nagel didn’t reinvent the wheel when they decided to offer their suppliers an early payment facility. The existing e-invoicing platform that had been developed with Tradeshift served as the perfect launchpad for the SCF programme provided by Citi.

What the judges said: “A truly integrated platform, enabling smart integration of an existing platform for e-invoicing with an add-on for receivable financing, making it easier to onboard suppliers.”

Key facts:

  • Ease of use with a platform suppliers were already familiar with was a key driver for this programme
  • Fast invoice payments and affordable finance have accelerated the rate of take-up by suppliers
  • Integration with buyer’s and suppliers’ ERP systems enhances transparency

The entry:

The best collaborations are those where every stakeholder benefits. With Kuehne + Nagel’s programme, developed in partnership with Citi and Tradeshift, K+N was able to significantly improve its suppliers’ cash cycle, enable efficient invoice-to-cash processing through one platform and create working capital benefits for the buyer.

Top of mind for K+N was the desire to provide an early payment solution for suppliers without having to migrate to a new platform. Instead, the company wanted to use it existing e-invoicing platform with which suppliers were already very familiar and comfortable – a platform that K+N had successfully developed with Tradeshift over a number of years.

Transparency of invoice status was another important goal as was the need to ensure invoices were available for payment within a few days, efficient supplier onboarding processes, integration with K+N’s and with suppliers’ ERP systems, attractive financing rates for suppliers and the potion of a multi-bank facility.

Being able to provide an early payment solution connected to the e-invoicing platform has led to an acceleration in onboarding of suppliers, who now submit around 200,000 electronic invoices a month, generating considerable process efficiency gains.

The whole programme is enhancing the relationship between buyers and suppliers.

The whole programme is enhancing the relationship between buyers and suppliers. In the best case, invoices can be sold in as little as three days. Currently around 300 suppliers take advantage of the early payment facility, which is still in its early days. As the programme ramps up, the ultimate benefits will be significantly higher. The platform permits the inclusion of other finance partners, if required.

A pilot programme in the UK in 2015 was followed up by expansion of the programme across 11 European countries, as well as Canada, the US and Mexico. The plan is to make this a truly global supplier offering. With its worldwide reach and dedicated experts in 16 cities, Citi has been supporting the onboarding of K+N’s global suppliers as well as ensuring that local suppliers are approached in a manner appropriate for their markets.

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