The key drivers for Airbus’s supply chain finance programme were to strengthen supply chain health and improve supplier relationships, collaboration and transparency, said Julie Sis, supply chain funding manager at the aerospace company.
Connectivity and automation were important attributes that Airbus wanted, with funding flexibility and ease of supplier on-boarding. They wanted the scheme to be offered by all business units and to all suppliers who were in compliance with Airbus’s Standard Practices and Policies – from the largest to the smallest and on the same finance terms. It had to work with different instances of SAP and of course it had to handle multiple currencies.
Airbus now works with Taulia and Greensill capital which uses a special purpose vehicle to enable bank and non-bank funding. To date, a year after launch, a third of suppliers are enrolled on the programme. Two-thirds have taken up the early payment facility.
Critical success factors were having cross-team alignment between treasury and procurement, introduction of a standard terms policy and clear working capital targets. Great communication in supplier outreach helped bring suppliers on board. Internal communication between Airbus stakeholders was also important for success, both in terms of cross-functional collaboration and the change management maters that arose.
Also key was the use of robust, secure technology that enabled quick supplier onboarding. Suppliers appreciate the reliability and sustainability of the platform and the reconciliation features.