A Lifeline for Business: Supply Chain Finance in the Spotlight

Supply chain finance can improve cash flow, boost financial metrics, and give businesses and their suppliers the flexibility and agility they need to face the unexpected.


In business, timing is everything. Even relatively brief delays in payments coming in from buyers and going out to suppliers can have a huge knock-on effect for any organization.

For large multinational companies with relationships across the globe, blockages in the flow of cash can result in costs that accrue exponentially, adding up to huge sums over time. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which can often find themselves stuck in the limbo of waiting for invoices to be settled while at the same time being obliged to cover outgoing payments, interruptions to cash flow can present an existential threat.

Not having immediate access to funds in such situations can, at best, result in operational inefficiencies and, at worst, present real risks to a business’ financial health and survival.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of a business – and managing cash flow is fundamental to the treasurer’s role. The responsibility for ensuring that a company’s capital is being handled in as efficient and effective a manner as possible rests squarely on a treasurer’s shoulders, so finding ways to allow cash to flow smoothly and quickly across the supply chain should be a priority. As the role of the treasurer evolves and expands, it has become ever more critical to keep pace with market risks, industry volatility and the complexities of the global supply chain ecosystem. Creating an agile, responsive and innovative approach to cash flow and working capital is central to this.

Supply chain finance (SCF) offers a solution, as it provides a robust way of bridging the gap between incoming and outgoing payments. SCF is, in essence, a means of optimizing working capital and reducing supply chain risk.

SCF is a set of technology-enabled solutions that connects buyers, sellers and financial institutions onto one platform. This optimizes working capital for both buyers and suppliers; it helps buyers accelerate cash flow, and gives suppliers access to lower financing costs as well as providing visibility into outstanding customer invoices and timing of payment.

This has several benefits. For buyers it can improve financial metrics such as days payable outstanding (DPO), as well as freeing up cash that would otherwise be trapped in the financial supply chain – cash that can then be invested back into a business to fuel growth. For suppliers, SCF can mitigate the effect of payment term extensions and help accelerate their own cash flow.

SCF therefore creates a mutually valuable cycle. It enables the buyer to optimize working capital by allowing them more time to pay suppliers. And it allows suppliers to improve operating cash flow by getting paid early.

It is made possible using specialist technology platforms to provide businesses with access to funding from financial institutions. It is important to point out that SCF is not debt; it is an extension of a buyer’s accounts payable which has no impact on a company’s balance sheets when done properly.

For businesses operating on thin margins, the ability to improve cash flow without increasing debt can be invaluable – even multinational giants such as Nike and Volvo have reaped the benefits of SCF in recent years.

How it works

Supply Chain Finance in the spotlight

SCF in practice

Children’s ready meal manufacturer Kiddyum is a UK-based SME which found itself boosted up into the big leagues when it won a contract to sell its products in Sainsbury’s supermarkets. As a small business, one of Kiddyum’s main concerns was around payment terms. While winning the Sainsbury’s contract obviously provided an enormous opportunity for growth, the company did not have the working capital to cover the increased costs of manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and business services that the sudden increase in scale brought about.

Jayne Hynes, Kiddyum’s entrepreneurial founder, was also wary of supermarkets’ notoriously long payment terms, whereby suppliers can often find themselves waiting for 60 or even 90 days for invoices to be settled. Most of Kiddyum’s own suppliers insist on being paid in 30 days – resulting in a problematic cash flow shortfall. Finding an SCF solution was paramount.

Sainsbury’s gave Kiddyum access to its SCF service, which uses finance from Royal Bank of Scotland and a technology platform supplied by global SCF specialist PrimeRevenue. According to Hynes, this provided the company with “an absolute lifeline”.

“Once we were set up it was amazing, we were able to get the money in the account the next day,” she says. “For me as a small business it is absolutely invaluable.

“We produce on a big scale and we produce monthly, which is a chunky outlay for us. If we had to wait 60 days we would need to have more cash sat in the bank because there is a lot of investment in stock.”

The PrimeRevenue platform enables Hynes to draw down on payments as soon as invoices are approved. When this happens a fee is charged, albeit one that is much smaller than would be the case with using a traditional bank loan or private funding house.

“It’s fairly easy to use and very transparent,” says Hynes. “We have a PrimeRevenue account manager who is always available and I find them very easy to deal with, very responsive.”

Success stories

It is not just SMEs that can benefit from an SCF solution. Global tire manufacturer Michelin has also made use of PrimeRevenue’s platform, which has allowed it to improve relationships with suppliers and build a more efficient approach to working capital.

Working across different geographies, languages and currencies, Michelin and PrimeRevenue were able to create a flexible and responsive supply chain ecosystem that benefited all parties involved, from manufacturing partners to customers. This was recognized when the partnership was awarded ‘Best Customer Implementation of a Supply Chain Financing Solution’ by Global Finance Magazine in 2016.

“We felt that in PrimeRevenue we had a true advocate, a collaborative partner with the right people, the right solutions, and the right leadership to ensure a seamless implementation and outstanding results,” says Bernard Gerardin, finance manager for group purchasing, Michelin Group. “We are now very confident in our ability to optimize our liquidity while at the same time providing considerable value to our supplier base.”

Another SCF success story is the collaboration between global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO and PrimeRevenue. Together they won the ‘Best Customer Implementation of a Supply Chain Financing Solution’ award in 2017 as a result of the speed with which they worked to bring their SCF program online, and the measurable impact it had on AGCO’s working capital.

According to Dustin Barney, purchasing manager at AGCO, “Feedback from our suppliers has been very favourable, indicating the program’s tracking to be a real win-win.”

An elegant solution

When seeking a SCF platform, it is essential that treasurers consider three key factors: growth, stability and innovation.

Freeing up working capital is perhaps one of the best ways for a company to achieve growth, both by improving access to ready funds and by building stronger, healthier relationships with suppliers. These kinds of relationships, based on mutual trust and good will, can give businesses of all sizes a real competitive edge, not just when it comes to procurement, but at every stage of the supply chain.

Stability comes from finding a solution that can offer scale, reliability and a proven track record. Having been established for more than a decade, PrimeRevenue works with more than 20,000 customers in 70 countries, handling more than $200bn per year in transactions. Recognized as an industry leader, it has won accolades from industry journals and customers alike.

According to PrimeRevenue CEO PJ Bain, the platform “gives smaller companies access to capital at a lower cost that allows them to innovate, expand or pay down debt. It creates an ecosystem which drives success for all the participants.”

As a cloud-based service, PrimeRevenue does not require its users to install additional software on their existing IT systems. As well as added convenience and flexibility, this innovative approach to technology confers real benefits in terms of speed; payments can be made virtually instantaneously by logging into a secure website, which also allows users to keep track of payments and the status of their account.

Understanding the benefits and opportunities presented by SCF should be top of the agenda for anyone working in treasury and cash management. To find out more about how it could help your business, contact us today.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Stephanie Wargo

VP, Global Head of Marketing

Stephanie joined PrimeRevenue in 2015 and oversees the company’s global marketing team and strategy. With a data-driven approach, Stephanie focuses on demand generation and thought leadership to drive brand awareness, strengthen client/partner relationships, and generate new sales opportunities. Stephanie has guided PrimeRevenue through new technology releases and an evolving FinTech landscape. In addition to leading PrimeRevenue’s internal and external communications, she implemented innovative demand generation and marketing strategies to enhance the company’s overall sales pipeline.

Stephanie has extensive experience in marketing and customer success. She previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications at BitPay and Vice President of Client Relations and Marketing at FirstView Financial. Stephanie earned a B.A. degree in Political Science from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

Brian Medley

VP, Global Head of Sales

Brian joined PrimeRevenue in early 2012, after more than 20 years of sales leadership, executive-level consultant and business growth experience. As VP, Global Head of Sales, Brian leads a growing team of fintech sales professionals with a focus on developing strong customer relationships, improving sales predictability and helping PrimeRevenue enter the lucrative mid-market.

Prior to PrimeRevenue, Brian honed his enterprise software sales leadership skills at Clarus Corporation. He also served as an operations and IT management consultant for Kurt Salmon Associates. In addition to his sales and consulting background, Brian has deep experience in the financial industry having founded a successful residential mortgage broker and lending business. He is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology having earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Economics and M.B.A. in Global Business.

Jason Green

SVP, Global Customer Success

Jason joined PrimeRevenue in 2021 following more than two decades in the fintech/financial services industry. He brings a strong background is sales leadership due to his impressive relationship building capability as well as a successful track record in creating structure and process improvements. In his role, Jason uses his keen attention to detail to strengthen the customer experience and enhance the company’s solutions to deliver more value to clients.

Prior to joining the company, Jason held several senior level and executive roles with a focus on building and scaling sales and support organizations at both large and small companies. Jason graduated from Murray State University with a B.S in Marketing.

Matt Ford

SVP, Global Product Innovation

Matt joined PrimeRevenue in early 2015 and is responsible for overseeing all commercial, strategic and operational aspects of PrimeRevenue’s supply chain finance offerings throughout EMEA, based in Prague. He has been instrumental in gaining global alignment and developing supplier enablement processes for the region.

Matt joined PrimeRevenue following a 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, where he worked in fixed income operations covering debt syndication through bonds, EMTNS, corporate loans and other debt securitization. Notably, he set up non-core location operations in Europe (Budapest) and all lending operations in Baltimore from scratch.

Matt, who was born and raised in South East England, earned a B.S. in Sports Science at University of Teesside where he mastered the art of TEAM development and accountability as a youth international rugby player.

Dominic Capolongo

EVP, Global Head of Funding

Dominic joined PrimeRevenue in 2016, and is responsible for leading our bank and capital markets funding strategies and execution. He focuses on building global, scalable and highly efficient funding structures that maximize options for supporting PrimeRevenue’s programs. Dominic began his career as an attorney and was a partner with Kaye Scholer before joining DLJ as a senior banker. Dominic brings tremendous strategic and capital markets experience in all areas of finance having held senior positions at, among others, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets in addition to DLJ. Dominic earned a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA from SUNY Binghamton.

Gavin Cicchinelli

Chief Operating Officer

Gavin joined PrimeRevenue as Chief Operating Officer in 2021. With more than two decades of leadership and executive experience along with a deep understanding of the payments space, Gavin provides a unique focus on improving and strengthening operational strategies and implementing GTM growth execution. He is responsible for leading transformation across corporate and operational strategies as well as building a repeatable and scalable commercial growth strategy that aligns with PrimeRevenue’s core business while delivering key adjacent growth opportunities.

Prior to joining PrimeRevenue, Gavin served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Integrated Solutions at TSYS, a global payment processing services company acquired by Global Payments (NYSE:GPN). There, he also served as Head of Product and divisional COO. Throughout his career, Gavin has held multiple leadership positions including VP of Sales, SVP of Business Development, and President of Financial Institutions. Gavin graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley.

David Quillian

Chief Legal Officer

David joined PrimeRevenue as General Counsel in 2007. He and his team have been instrumental in successfully creating the unique legal structures that support PrimeRevenue’s multi-funder model and global funding capabilities. David is also the lead named inventor on PrimeRevenue’s two patents for Electronic Time Drafts, which allow PrimeRevenue to manage supply chain finance programs using electronic negotiable instruments as opposed to accounts receivable. Prior to PrimeRevenue, David was General Counsel at Harbor Payments, which was acquired by American Express (AXP) in 2006, and Magnet Communications, which was acquired by Digital Insight (DGIN) in 2003. He holds degrees in Economics and History from Duke University, and Juris Doctor and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Georgia.

Nathan Feather


Nathan has successfully ushered PrimeRevenue from our very early days as a visionary startup, through the financial crisis to today’s position as a thriving mid-sized leader in the cloud-enabled supply chain finance marketplace since joining PrimeRevenue in January 2006. He was instrumental in recapitalizing the company with an $80M investment led by BBH Capital Partners in 2015. Prior to PrimeRevenue, he held various financial management roles with Ariba, Freemarkets and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Nathan holds a BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

PJ Bain


PJ has an impressive and accomplished track record as an enterprise software entrepreneur and executive. PJ has built a solid record of success with PrimeRevenue since being appointed Chief Executive Officer in July of 2009. The company has received numerous awards for growth, customer service, innovation, along with being recognized as a top employer.

PJ is a life-long software and technology entrepreneur having been involved in numerous firms in the roles of founder, executive, advisor and investor. Immediately prior to PrimeRevenue, PJ was the VP and General Manager of Exact Holding N.V. (NYSE/AMS: EXACT), a leading global provider of business software solutions. He was previously Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions, an Atlanta-based, B2B software and services firm that grew to be the largest reseller of Exact Software in North America, later acquired by Exact. PJ holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.