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Taking a Holistic View of the Supply Chain

by Melissa Gargagliano, Head of Commercial Cards, Global Transaction Services EMEA, and Martin Knott, Head of Trade, Global Transaction Services EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

By carefully analysing spend patterns, supply chain finance and card solutions can be deployed to cover a majority of supplier payments. 

To operate successfully in a global market, companies rely on distributing their products in a timely and cost-effective manner.  While globalisation is not a new concept, many firms have been working with overseas sourcing-, manufacturing-, transporting- and distributing  suppliers for years – what has changed recently is how quickly they may need to respond to sudden changes on the demand side and unforeseen disruptions on the supply side.  This need for agility is leading companies to focus more closely on how to manage their expanding network of suppliers through a more holistic lens, rather than treating elements of their supply chain in isolation. By examining the wide range of suppliers with whom a corporate works and the huge amount of processes involved, companies can simplify their strategic, treasury and procurement objectives and seek solutions to help achieve them.

Corporates have widely varying goals and concerns and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to address all supply chain challenges. Some firms focus on reducing risk, others in shoring up their supply chain, while others may prioritise efficiency improvements. Moreover, companies may have multiple objectives.

We see many companies looking to align procurement within the treasury function.