Equally, if you’re entering into a new contract, your partner may require you to offer some security in case you can’t meet your obligations. This helps you both to reduce your levels of risk. To do this, many businesses use bonds and other tools, to help give the supplier an additional level of security in case their buyer is unable to meet the terms agreed. By insisting on a similar arrangement with your buyers, you can help protect yourself against loss of payments that don’t come in.
You can also use these kinds of guarantees as a substitute for paying cash deposits to your partners. This helps to free up working capital, which you can spend elsewhere within your business. And because your partner feels more protected, you’ll be able to build a stronger relationship with them – and potentially negotiate more favourable rates and payment terms. If you have highly complex contracts, you might even need a mix of bonds solutions.
“We get invited to tender for projects – some have pre-qualifiers, others open,” says the Group Treasurer for a global manufacturing corporation. “So, we need a bid bond and other tender documents. It depends on the nature of the project. We need the bank’s guarantee to bid for projects and to obtain performance bonds.”
By using banking solutions to build these stronger supplier relationships, you’ll find yourself in a better position to expand your product range – and also your global reach.
Do you have the right banking solutions to help you operate in new regions?
When you expand your business into new markets, you have to acclimatise to new ways of working. And you could face a number of political and cultural risks, along with strict measures that will be put in place in the wake of COVID-19. With the right banking partner, you can call upon the expertise of professionals who have strong experience of different global working cultures. They can also advise on the best ways to deal with different political risks, and help set up a solid financial infrastructure that supports you internationally. If they have local knowledge and personnel in a number of countries, they may also be able to guide you on ensuring you meet any compliance regulations necessary. And they can help you avoid inadvertently becoming involved in money laundering or sanction breaches.
You can also access a number of trade risk management solutions that help minimise credit default from new overseas customers. Equally, your business might be perceived as a credit risk to potential customers. But with guarantees and trade credit solutions, you can help manage these risks.
Your bank will also be able to provide solutions that help you streamline your accounts payable processes. This is an absolute necessity when you have money coming in from different markets at different times, and need to manage it wisely to ensure you have good working capital. By investing financial technology solutions, you can optimise your accounts receivable process, while also streamlining payables. So, you can keep money flowing steadily through the business. You also get near real-time data, giving vital insights into your cash position. And with automation, you can reduce the risk of delays and errors in processing.
Are your current solutions able to protect you from supplier non-performance?
One of the main factors that sees many suppliers and distributors underperform is a lack of sufficient working capital. This is particularly true in some of the most commercially attractive emerging markets.
Without working capital, your suppliers could struggle to purchase the materials or components they need to fulfil their orders for you. This could leave you short on supplies and your production chain could falter. Thankfully, there are supplier management solutions available to help you protect yourself against these eventualities. For newer or smaller suppliers with whom you have less of an established relationship, letters of credit could be the best solution. For more established suppliers, you could use supply chain finance solutions to help them maintain working capital.