Enterprise Case Study Testimonial

C2FO Optimises Associated British Foods’ Supplier Relationships To Benefit Entire Supply Chain

22 February 2022
The C2FO Team
A photo of bread baking in an oven

Discover how Allied Bakeries uses C2FO to support its network of suppliers and provide easier access to working capital. 

The Challenge

Associated British Foods (ABF) wanted to strengthen its relationships with its suppliers by reducing their financial costs — assistance that would prove crucial during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Subsidiary company Allied Bakeries produces and distributes a staple consumer good – fresh bread – and experienced an increase in production of 10% as customers relied on the supermarkets it supplies more heavily than ever before during the height of the pandemic. 

The team wanted to make sure their raw materials vendors were able to meet the new demand and had the cash available to them to continue to thrive regardless of the shifting economic landscape. 

Allied Bakeries chose C2FO to help it meet the following goals:

  • Supporting its supply chain in a competitive fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

  • Giving suppliers easy access to low-cost capital and cash.

  • Delivering on high purchase order volumes for brand-name supermarkets.

  • Maintaining the long-term sustainability of its supplier network. 

  • Supporting initiatives like the government-backed Prompt Payment Code.

A photo of a bakery

The Solution

It took C2FO just two months to transform the fortunes of the Allied Bakeries supply chain. It implemented the Early Payment Programme – an easy-to-use, low-cost and flexible way for suppliers to manage their cash flow by having their invoices paid in advance in exchange for a small discount on goods. 

All that was required from Allied Bakeries was a simple exchange of files – and C2FO did the rest, saving the company valuable time and money to focus on other areas of its business. 

Within a few months, more than 80 vendors received over £7 million in early payments, which enabled them to keep going and keep up with the increase in demand for raw materials.

“The accessibility of this programme and ease of setup is something I’ve not seen in my experience anywhere else,” said Andrew Broadhurst, director of shared services for Associated British Foods PLC.

“It’s allowed us to keep building and cement strong relationships with our suppliers through transparency and fair terms, and the platform is just dead easy,” he said.

In addition, the C2FO Early Payment model helped Allied Bakeries in its quest to support initiatives that promote access to liquidity for small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

“Not only does C2FO offer early payment to suppliers, ensuring they have the cash they need, but it also provides funding that is inexpensive and maintains a responsible approach to the supply chain in line with the requirements of the Prompt Payment Code. It’s a real win-win solution,” said Philip King, former interim small business commissioner and champion of the Prompt Payment Code.

The Results

C2FO’s Early Payment Programme saw Allied Bakeries suppliers paid an average of 33.4 days ahead of time. Since it was launched, around 1,400 suppliers registered with the platform, representing around 55% of the total number of suppliers.

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