Author: Anita Hawser

BUILDING BLOCKS

By Anita Hawser and Paula Green

The winners of this year's awards come from a wide array of bank and nonbank backgrounds.

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They offer unique financing solutions and are helping buyers and suppliers connect as never before. Supply chain finance is at a turning point. There have been advances in buyer and supplier collaboration and in the wide range of software solutions to help companies automate paper invoices and streamline the order-to-pay process, and the major global banks have developed Web-based supply chain finance portals. Over the past decade B2B collaborative networks like Ariba and TradeCard have built scale, linking thousands of buyers and suppliers and providing them with the essential tools to automate the procurement process and payables, as well as helping companies attain greater visibility and control over their spending and suppliers. New B2B platforms are also entering the space.

The next stage is for bigger B2B collaborative platforms to build out financing capabilities to offer more affordable and targeted finance for suppliers. These many-to-many platforms provide the basis for bigger supply chain finance programs encompassing hundreds of suppliers across multiple geographies and for financing to be provided much earlier in the chain—leveraging the purchase order instead of the invoice.

Supply chain finance is becoming an asset class in its own right, with many companies waking up to the value of their receivables and their attractiveness to a greater variety of investors, including pension funds and private equity. In an environment where bank credit is constrained by regulatory requirements and overleveraged balance sheets, supply chain financing needs to attract a wider range of financial participants if it is to reach its true potential, particularly for small-to-midsize (SME) suppliers that are finding it difficult to access affordable financing.

In this year's awards we have expanded the number of categories. They now include financing and the full range of components and building blocks—B2B collaborative networks, e-procurement, discount management, trade document management, risk management and insurance—that are essential for successful supply chain management and that provide the level of automation needed to enable the financing process.

GLOBAL WINNERS
Best Supply Chain Finance Provider—Bank Citi
Best Supply Chain Finance Provider—Nonbank Orbian
Best Supplier Support And Enrollment Basware
Best Payables Supplier Financing Solution PrimeRevenue
Best Preshipment Financing Solution Standard Chartered
Best Customer Implementation of a Supply Chain Financing Solution Royal Bank of Scotland and Carlsberg
Best Web-based Supply Chain Financing Solution PrimeRevenue OpenSCi
Best Platform Connecting Buyers, Suppliers and Financial Institutions TradeCard
Best Integrated Trade, Supply Chain Finance and Cash Management Solutions SEB
Best E-procurement Ariba
Best Inventory Management TradeCard
Best Trade Document Management Citi
Best Analytics for Credit Scoring and Supplier Risk Assessment Dun & Bradstreet
Best Invoice Discount Management ICG Consulting
Best Supply Chain Risk Consulting Services Provider Marsh
Best Supply Chain Risk Insurance Provider FM Global

REGIONAL WINNERS
North America Citi
Latin America Citi
Western Europe Royal Bank of Scotland
Nordic Region SEB
Central & Eastern Europe UniCredit
Asia Standard Chartered
Africa Standard Chartered
Middle East HSBC

alt Best Supply Chain Finance Providers 2012