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Power your growth with a supply chain management platform

BlogEnterpriseYour business By Duncan Khoury – 29 July 2020

Manually keeping track of your supply chain transactions can leave you prone to expensive errors. You need to deal with multiple transactions, and try to juggle emails, phone calls and documentation for each one. Remembering where you’ve stored all the information and whether you’ve authorised everything you need to can be a nightmare. 

Sound far too familiar? 

If so, the first step is to map your supply chain process. Chances are that this will reveal transactions that are hampered by slow, complex, manual tasks. For example, you may need to constantly check that you’ve uploaded the correct documentation and then actioned everything you need to progress a transaction to the next stage. 

Imagine how much easier a good supply chain management platform could make your job. Particularly now, when brain-fog from world events can make it hard to remember what you had for lunch, let alone which supplier payments you’ve authorised.

Octet’s supply chain management platform could be the answer. 

How supply chain management can help

Your existing supply chain is probably fairly complex, and it’s almost certainly unique to your business. 

Mapping out the various processes in your supply chain can help you to understand exactly how you carry out your tasks right now. It shows you where and how you could improve your supply chain visibility, as well as identifying any potential bottlenecks. 

For example, some of the most common inefficiencies that a supply chain process map highlights are in payment and documentation procedures. And that’s particularly true if you use traditional bank financing for international orders. 

That’s because overseas transaction payments normally involve manually sending letters and documents back and forth between multiple parties. Those parties can include – at a minimum – you, your trading partner, and both your bank and your trading partner’s bank.

As a result, the process is slow, costly and dangerously prone to errors. 

The good news is that you can often use technology to make the manual processes that slow down your transactions far more efficient and less risky.

How a supply chain management platform can help

Our supply chain management tool digitises your entire global trade finance and payments process. 

This makes your transactions simple, fast and safe. The single, centralised platform tracks and validates each step, allowing you to quickly and easily authorise payments without the hassle of a set of manual steps.

Let’s run through a typical scenario to see how the platform works. Imagine you need to buy 100,000 widgets from your supplier, ACME Widgets. 

To start the transaction, you simply sign into the Octet supply chain management platform.

  1. Order creation: you open a new order, select ACME Widgets as your seller, and upload your purchase order into the system. We’ll already have added ACME to the system and verified them in advance. This means you know they meet both Know Your Client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.
  2. Order customisation: as you enter the order, you can choose between 15 currencies and a range of possible required documents. Each transaction needs a minimum of a purchase order and a commercial invoice. However, you can also choose to make documents like a bill of lading or an airway bill mandatory.
  3. Order notification: ACME receives an email notifying them of your order, and logs into the same platform to accept it. They then begin manufacturing your widgets.
  4. Payment claim: once they have your widgets ready for shipment, ACME can claim payment on the order. They simply log back in, upload the required documents, and then hit the button to claim their payment. They can also offer an early payment discount at this point if they want to.
  5. Payment management: our platform sends you an email to let you know that ACME has claimed payment. You then review the documents they uploaded to confirm everything’s okay before you authorise payment. You can choose from any of the payment methods you’ve connected to the platform, including bank accounts, credit cards or Octet funding such as Trade Finance. You can even split your payment across multiple payment methods via your Digital Wallet. Additionally, when you view the payment screen, you see the payment total in your local currency at the foreign exchange spot rate. That means you know exactly how much the transaction will cost you in your own currency. Then, in one click, you can authorise the payment, knowing that the FX is handled quickly and easily in a single, hassle-free step. You can even bring your own third party forward exchange contract to the transaction via the platform.
  6. Payment receipt: We pay ACME directly into their account, so they can get on with shipping your widgets. Meanwhile, if you pay with your Octet Trade Finance facility you have extra time (up to 120 days) to pay us back.
  7. Shipping and receipt of goods: ACME uploads the bill of lading, airway bill or any other documentation necessary for you and your customs agents to ensure a clear path for the goods. Once this information is uploaded and you confirm receipt of the goods, you’ll receive an invoice for the total payment costs. This way all of the information and documents relating to the order are stored in one single portal. 

It’s that simple, and that safe.

Supply chain process map

Why use our supply chain management platform?

The benefits of using our supply chain management platform include:

  • No FX surprises. We handle international payments with no complications and no surprises. That means you know exactly how much you’ll pay, based on the current spot rate, before you authorise any transactions. 
  • Clear visibility. Both you and the seller use the same centralised system, so it’s easy for both parties to monitor the progress of any given transaction. 
  • Secure process automation. All documents are stored centrally, and each stage of the transaction can only progress once the relevant party uploads the correct documentation.
  • Clear communication between parties. The platform is available in multiple languages, so you can avoid any language barrier issues.
  • Payment method flexibility. You can use up to five payment methods for each transaction, including our Debtor Finance or Trade Finance, as well as bank accounts or credit cards. You can also split payments between these sources to take advantage of any interest-free offers.  
  • Early settlement discounts. You may be able to negotiate early settlement discounts by paying your suppliers faster, while still having up to 120 days to repay us.
  • Jump on opportunities. Take advantage of unexpected business opportunities as they arise – for example, in the current climate, making hand sanitiser via your spirits distillery business.   

Simplify your supply chain with Octet’s supply chain platform

Are you ready to improve your supply chain visibility, and make your transactions faster, safer and more efficient? 

Get in touch with our team today to see how a Supply Chain Management Platform can help power your business growth.