The aim of this briefing is to offer a retrospective appraisal of the benefits of supply chain finance (SCF), based on the collective findings from 14 supply chain finance research studies that I have supervised from the Cranfield Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management from 2010 to 2016.  These different research studies, which are based predominantly on qualitative data collected from organisations from a variety of industrial sectors ranging from retailing to aerospace, who operate in different geographical regions, together with insights captured from key SCF actors including academics, consultants, platform providers, financial organisations and professional bodies.

Figure 1: Potential supply chain finance benefits

The findings from these studies have informed SCF practice, teaching and research over the years, but have also provided the springboard for exploring further the evolution of SCF. In 2017, we currently have two on-going research projects that are exploring the future development of SCF and another exploring organisational resistance with regard to adopting SCF.

I have concluded from reviewing the collective findings from these studies, that SCF has many more potential benefits and is not just confined to optimising working capital management. This briefing introduces a conceptual model, which has emerged from these research studies, but needs to be examined further by academics and practitioners alike.

The model recommends that the potential benefits obtained from SCF can be classified according to different perspectives, as illustrated in the figure 1. The model has seven perspectives, but these may change over time. Therefore the aim of this briefing is to introduce the model and begin a conversation between interested parties that can facilitate the future development of the model.

The potential SCF benefits compiled by the analysis can be tangible or intangible and are mapped against the different perspectives as illustrated in Table 1.

Table 1: Potential supply chain finance benefits

This briefing acknowledges the collective work of the Supply Chain Finance students: Anas, Marion, William, Harshal, Maissa, Karthik, Chunxuan, SzuSzu, Mohammed Anas, Iftekhyrul Islam, Jingyi, Daniel and Remco.

I would also like to acknowledge the on-going support that Charles Findlay has given to the SCF research at Cranfield over the years.


If you are interested in continuing the SCF discussion, please contact:

Dr Simon Templar
Demand Chain Management
Cranfield School of Management
Cranfield University
United Kingdom