C2FO’s Supplier Relationship Managers Cultivate Participation in Your Early Payment Programme
August 5, 2021 |
The C2FO Team
Supplier Relationship Managers at C2FO build lifelong relationships with all of the players in your supply chain to generate added value for your business.
Most companies looking to implement an early payment solution don’t necessarily think about the importance of having external Supplier Relationship Managers (SRMs).
After all, many corporations already consider suppliers valued partners, and procurement departments tend to have great relationships with their supply chain partners. You may believe your procurement team can handle these relationships without external help.
However, finding the right supplier contact and educating suppliers about financing options is time-consuming. Without the capacity and resources to adequately enable suppliers to adopt working capital solutions, your procurement team, no matter how skilled, may fall short.
Before you ask your procurement organisation to add yet another task to its plate, consider these five questions that will help you understand if your team has the resources and capacity to educate and enable suppliers:
1. Ensuring high supplier adoption and retention rates are essential for any early payment programme. Given the increasing importance of procurement teams and their growing list of priorities, does your team have the capacity to onboard thousands of suppliers?
2. One of the key challenges in onboarding is identifying and reaching out to the appropriate decision-maker in your suppliers’ organisations and educating them on your programme. Does your procurement team have the time and resources to find the right point of contact?
3. Not all suppliers are the same, especially when your vendors range in size from local, small and mid-sized suppliers to large, global businesses in different time zones and languages. These inherent differences mean varied financial conversations requiring diverse skill sets. Is your procurement team familiar with the nuances of speaking with these distinct businesses to explain the benefits of early payment?
4. Nurturing supplier relationships throughout the lifecycle of the programme can be tricky without the right resources. Does your procurement team have the time, capacity and systems to ensure ongoing conversations are held and tracked with thousands of suppliers?
5. Selecting the right suppliers at the beginning of the programme allows for a fast start and paves the way for a successful project. Does your procurement organisation have the data to evaluate the financial needs of every supplier and understand the history of early payment requests to choose suitable suppliers who will utilise the solution?
Check “yes” with C2FO
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then your team could be in danger of either not delivering the results expected from an early payment programme within the required timeframe or that poor supplier adoption leads to an unsuccessful outcome.
At C2FO, we have had years of experience in solving these issues. We understand that both you and your suppliers need liquidity in your supply chains. We also know that ensuring all players in your ecosystem have the financing they need to grow can be challenging.
Whether it’s through unique insights into market trends or the personalised programmes we create, C2FO’s team of SRMs has many unique capabilities that create value for you and your suppliers.
The crucial role of external SRMs
At C2FO, one of the most important things we do is provide continuous support from our SRMs to your suppliers to drive engagement, loyalty and satisfaction while saving you time and resources.
As an extension of your company, SRMs use communication, trust, and transparency in everything they do — without taking away your valued supplier relationship.
First, SRMs work to identify the right person to speak with at your suppliers’ companies. Most, if not all contact data stored in your systems will be with salespeople or AR clerks who do not have the authority to approve an early payment offer. C2FO’s team of SRMs are experts in reaching out to key decision-makers and explaining the benefits of early payment to unique audiences to ensure programme efficiency.
Second, we strive to meet your suppliers’ working capital needs by asking the right questions. Once we understand your suppliers’ needs, we support their ongoing cash management requirements.
For example, Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest distributor of building materials, has been helping build Britain for over 200 years. Today, their supply chain network consists of over 6,000 suppliers, which provide everything from materials to build skyscrapers to a simple pot of paint to decorate.
“If we want to grow our business, we equally need our suppliers to grow their business at the same time,” said Graeme Barnes, director of capital markets at Travis Perkins. “What’s better is actually the relationships we have with our suppliers when they join up with the C2FO scheme. These become relationships between finance colleagues rather than just commercial colleagues.”
SRMs encourage businesses in enterprise supply chains to participate on the C2FO platform for early payment of their accounts receivable. The idea is to foster long-term use of your working capital solution by managing those relationships with empathy and transparency.
Our approach to suppliers is proactive and consultative. We introduce, educate and enable suppliers to access the working capital they need to thrive.
Understanding your suppliers’ cash management needs
At C2FO, we’re not looking to “create” a need for suppliers. We’re looking to understand it. So we often refer to ourselves as an extension of you, the buyer.
Another key strength of the C2FO programme is that our SRMs can reach all suppliers within your supply chain. From large multinational companies to micro-businesses, different suppliers have varying needs. That’s why we have dedicated SRM profiles to approach the financial conversation according to what the suppliers need.
A matter of trust
Since trust is key to a programme’s success, C2FO has invested heavily in our SRM team to build deep-rooted and longstanding relationships with your suppliers.
All SRMs at C2FO complete over 70 hours of onboarding training in the first two weeks of employment. The SRM team has helped C2FO achieve extremely high satisfaction rates from suppliers.
We believe that artificial intelligence and data mean nothing without human connection and trust. A technology platform on its own will not generate the same success as a robust platform supported by SRM.
Currently, we have hundreds of SRMs that speak over 15 languages, including all main European languages, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.
Like many small businesses, Belgium-based agency Little Shop of Translations relies on efficient and timely payment from clients. However, with payment terms that often extend beyond the traditional 30, 60 or even 90 days, owner and manager Zeljko Susljic has found it difficult to bridge the cash gap to meet payroll.
“One sentence that the C2FO Supplier Relationship Manager told me on the phone got stuck in my head in particular: ‘Philips wants you to have a strong company. It wants its partners to be strong and healthy,’” Susljic said. “And that is really rare. Most of the other customers use us as a free loan facility. [With C2FO], I am even more motivated to provide extra service and quality to Philips.”
Whether your suppliers need liquidity year-round to meet operating costs or want a quick boost in capital to drive more growth, our SRMs seek to understand your customers’ “why” and “when.” Because plans and needs change, our SRMs account for the nuances of cash management — from seasonal work to meeting quarterly key performance indicators.
The bottom line
We believe that C2FO’s SRM team is invaluable in creating a successful early payment programme that drives income for your business. Our emphasis on trust and transparency for the entire duration of the programme delivers extra value to both you and your suppliers.