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Demystifying Supply Chain Finance

Management of the physical supply chain has been transformed by technology led efficiencies such as bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID), just-in-time manufacturing, offshoring and outsourcing.

By contrast, the financial supply chain has been relatively limited, giving business owners and financial directors only a handful of sometimes restrictive options to release funds caught up in the cash cycle.

However, there are innovations in this area of finance, and while some of these options may look similar to traditional forms of supply chain financing, they actually represent a significant break from the past.

In essence there are now four principal ways to monetise receivables:

  1. Tungsten Early Payment
  2. Factoring
  3. Invoice Discounting
  4. Asset Based Lending

At a glance

  Tungsten Early Payment Factoring Invoice Discounting Asset Based Lending

Who typically uses it to help manage cash flow

Any company size SMEs SMEs & Corporates Corporates

Up to 100% of the value of approved invoices can be advanced, minus a small fee

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Keep control of your sales ledger

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Monies available quickly upon approval

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Helps manage cash flow undefined undefined undefined undefined
No bank audit required undefined undefined undefined undefined


Tungsten Early Payment - explained

Tungsten Early Payment offers a flexible and fast way to access cash while retaining full control of the sales ledger. Delivered through the Tungsten Network e-invoicing platform, it is an effective option for small companies who might not want the administrative burden of involving a big bank in their full debtor book, and prefer to "pay as they go" and select specific invoices for early payment as and when they need them. The charges are based on the credit position of the client to whom the invoice is raised and the speed with which the monies are requested. Pricing is transparent and shown in full before the monies are requested.

Factoring - recap

Factoring involves the business selling its receivables to the factor company (either a bank or specific factoring brokerage). The business is required to hand over its sales ledger and usually collection will fall to the finance company. It is the loss of control of collection that may be beneficial for some organisations, but could also interfere with maintaining a quality customer relationship. 

Invoice Discounting - revisited

With invoice discounting, the company enters into an agreement with a finance company to advance a proportion of its debtor book. Usually around 85% of an invoice value can be released and a financing charge will be made reflecting the credit risk of the business itself. The benefits of an invoice discounting facility involve the ongoing availability of cash. The drawbacks are the heightened level of involvement, audit and scrutiny from the bank or financial company as they need to satisfy itself that your internal processes are sufficiently in order and that the companies being billed are reliable.

Asset Based Lending - reminder

Simply put, asset-based lending is generally based on your accounts receivable and inventory that are used as collateral. You are essentially putting forecast revenue on the line to gain access to immediate working capital.

Asset-based lending can be a much-needed source of capital for companies that are rapidly growing. However, the chances of securing credit is reliant on the quality of receivables.

For more information on how to activate your Tungsten Early Payment account, please call our team on +44 20 7280 7846.

Alternatively click here to register your interest and someone from our team will get in touch.


About the author

Ben Sepehri

Ben Sepehri, Business Development, Tungsten Finance, engages with the larger suppliers on the Tungsten Network. He was previously at Barclays and RBS and has more than 10 years of invoice finance experience.

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