What Is Supply Chain Finance? SCF Guide

what is a scf

This philosophically counters the competitive dynamic that typically arises between these two parties. After all, under traditional circumstances, buyers attempt to delay payment, while sellers look to be paid as soon as possible. For petroleum gases, the standard cubic foot (scf) is defined as one cubic foot of gas at 60 °F (288.7 K; 15.56 °C) and at normal sea level air pressure. The pressure definition differs between sources, but are all close to normal sea level air pressure. While still invoice finance, a lender usually spreads the credit risk over several debtors, whereas the SCF provider is concentrating its finance on one entity with the strength of its balance sheet alone supporting the debt.

Supply chain finance, also known as supplier finance or reverse factoring, is a financing solution in which suppliers can receive early payment on their invoices. Supply chain finance reduces the risk of supply chain disruption and enables both buyers and suppliers to optimize their working capital. You can also leverage our AI-powered predictions to decide which of the two funding models will best support your needs.

A standard cubic foot defines an amount of gas contained in a volume of one cubic foot at standard temperature and pressure. This standard unit of molecular quantity for gases can be used with the ideal gas law to compute the quantity per unit of volume for other pressures and temperatures. In spite of the label “standard”, there is a variety of definitions, mainly depending on the type of gas. Since, for a given volume, the quantity is proportional to the pressure and temperature, each definition fixes base values for pressure and temperature. Last but not least, our flexible funding model means that you don’t have to choose between supply chain finance and dynamic discounting.

While buyers have traditionally focused on onboarding their 20 or 50 largest suppliers, technology-led solutions now enable companies to offer supply chain finance to hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of suppliers across a global supply chain. This is made possible by providing user-friendly platforms and streamlined supplier onboarding processes which makes it simple to onboard large numbers of suppliers rapidly and with minimal effort. Supply chain finance works best when the buyer has a better credit rating than the seller, and can consequently source capital from a bank or other financial provider at a lower cost. This advantage lets buyers negotiate better terms from the seller, such as extended payment schedules. Meanwhile, the seller can unload its products more quickly, to receive immediate payment from the intermediary financing body. While supply chain finance and dynamic discounting are two separate solutions, some companies may wish to access both types of program.

  • Meanwhile, the seller can unload its products more quickly, to receive immediate payment from the intermediary financing body.
  • To make things a little clearer, let’s look at a hypothetical example of a supply chain finance solution in action.
  • Costs
    While a SCF facility can provide cash flow benefits – as close to 100% of the supplier’s invoice is paid – this can leave the buyer eligible for early payment discounts that can eat into suppliers’ margins.
  • It is widely reported that the accounting treatment ought to be revised, given the debt-like features of SCF, to report the true nature of the borrower’s indebtedness.

Instead, you can switch seamlessly between the two early payment options with our easy-to-use platform. That means your suppliers will typically be able to receive funding at a more favorable rate than they can achieve independently. Supply chain finance is usually an off-balance sheet solution, although SCF programs do need to be structured in such a way that they are not classified as debt. Bcf (billion standard cubic feet), Tcf (trillion standard cubic feet), Qcf (quadrillion standard cubic feet), etc., are also used. Since natural gas is an imprecise mix of various molecular species, chiefly methane but with varying proportions of other gases, a standard cubic foot of natural gas does not represent a precise unit of mass, but a molecular quantity, expressed in moles.

Supply Chain Finance: What It Is, How It Works, Example

•   Buyer Centric Program – When Buyer is the large corporate, the seller whom buyer is dealing with becomes the Counter Party/Spoke and ‘Buyer’ becomes the ‘Anchor’ of the SCF Program. The economic effects of Covid-19 have seen demand for SCF reach new heights to combat liquidity contraction. With SCF seemingly becoming more popular, this may be a symptom of management teams prioritising cashflow headroom over short-term profit; however, SCF may be being used as a sticking plaster where more acute structural challenges exist.

When comparing SCF to alternative working capital financing, such as invoice finance, SCF looks in the opposite direction down the supply chain and provides a financing option to the buyer to increase supplier invoice payments. It also benefits the buyer of the trade, as the buyer can obtain a short term credit at lesser cost and get their payment terms extended. With longer duration of payments, the buyer gets time to convert its goods into sales and finally pay the bank. It is arguable that this accounting treatment papered over the cracks of Carillion’s true overall debt levels and understated its gearing, in turn enhancing the appearance of Carillion’s balance sheet as more financially appealing.

One option is to implement two separate financing solutions from different vendors – but this may be less than ideal in terms of the supplier experience. Alternatively, vendors that offer a flexible funding model may allow buyers to switch seamlessly between the two models as the need arises. As a buyer, you may be focused on extending your days payables outstanding (DPO) – but conversely, your suppliers will want to get paid as early as possible, thereby reducing their days sales outstanding (DSO). Supply chain finance resolves this conflict by allowing your suppliers to receive payment early, while you pay later on the invoice due date.

Supply chain finance includes both bank-run programs and multi-funder solutions run by technology vendors. Taulia’s program, for example, allows you to choose from a variety of different funding solutions – thereby avoiding the risk of funding concentration. Costs
While a SCF facility can provide cash flow benefits – as close to 100% of the supplier’s invoice is paid – this can leave the buyer eligible for early payment discounts that can eat into suppliers’ margins.

This means SCF offerings are largely exclusively available to large and multinational corporations. SCF requires the involvement of a SCF platform which enables the interaction between all the parties of the trade. SCF also needs an involvement of external finance provider i.e Bank who settles supplier invoices in advance or on due date of the invoice, for a lower financing cost than the suppliers’ own source of funds.

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Supply chain finance (SCF) is a term describing a set of technology-based solutions that aim to lower financing costs and improve business efficiency for buyers and sellers linked in a sales transaction. SCF methodologies work by automating transactions and tracking invoice approval and settlement processes, from initiation to completion. While suppliers gain quicker access to money they are owed, buyers get more time to pay off their balances. On either side of the equation, the parties can use the cash on hand for other projects to keep their respective operations running smoothy. Supply chain finance is also known as reverse factoring and is differentiated from regular factoring by one key detail. Under a factoring arrangement, it’s the supplier who initiates the funding process by selling their invoices to a third-party factor, who the buyer later pays in-line with the original payment terms.

what is a scf

This means that factoring involves the supplier drawing on credit, while in reverse factoring it’s the buyer’s credit rating that’s important. Unlike other receivables finance techniques like factoring, supply chain finance is set-up by the buyer instead of by the supplier. Another key difference is that suppliers can access supply chain finance at a funding cost based on the buyer’s credit rating, rather than their own. As a result, suppliers are typically able to receive supply chain finance at a lower cost than with other financing methods. Supply chain finance is also sometimes used as an umbrella term to include other forms of early payment program, such as dynamic discounting. However, dynamic discounting is a self-funded solution in which buyers offer suppliers early payment in exchange for a discount.

What you need to know about supply chain finance

Taulia’s approach is therefore to support you in offering supply chain finance to every supplier – whether that’s 100 or 10,000. Cashflow
SCF ordinarily provides a superior level of funding against specific invoices, resulting in payment against the supplier’s entire invoice value, minus a fee. Typically, an invoice finance facility will advance in the region of 80% of the invoice value, with the balance becoming available to the supplier when the customer pays. In addition, invoice finance facilities often include contractual terms such as concentration limits that could further restrict funding. Supply chain finance, often referred to as “supplier finance” or “reverse factoring,” encourages collaboration between buyers and sellers.

Unfortunately, the case of Carillion is just one example; a number of similar failures have brought the subject of SCF regulation under scrutiny. It is widely reported that the accounting treatment ought to be revised, given the debt-like features of SCF, to report the true nature of the borrower’s indebtedness. This is a win-win situation, the buyer gets to keep hold of their working capital for longer without spoiling their relationship with the supplier, and the supplier gets to be paid immediately giving them more working capital of their own to deploy. Our approach also helps you maximize the benefits of your program by making it easy to onboard as many of your suppliers as possible. For one thing, we’ve upgraded our platform and taken full advantage of the insights generated across the 5.2 million buyer-supplier connections on our platform. This means you can gain full visibility over your progress in meeting your working capital goals and track the impact of your program on supplier health.

It helps buyers to improve their working capital position while maintaining strong supplier relationships by involving a third-party factor to pay invoices early. It’s also important to suppliers, as they can access capital early without having to extend their own line of credit, meaning they can benefit from their buyer’s credit rating rather than their own. However, if the supplier wants their invoice paying faster (or the buyer doesn’t have the cash available or would rather keep hold of it to use as working capital), they can utilize an existing supply chain finance solution. This then implicates a third party – the financer or lender – who will pay the invoice immediately on behalf of the buyer and then extend the payment terms on which the buyer must pay them back, perhaps to 60 days.

Examples of Standard Cubic Feet in a sentence

•   Supplier Centric Program – When Supplier is the large corporate, the buyer whom supplier is deal­ing with becomes the Counter Party/ Spoke and ‘Supplier’ becomes the ‘Anchor’ of the SCF Pro­gram. An SCF facility can only be a success if lenders and borrowers are financially buoyant and work in transparent co-operation. Covid-19 has left a damaging imprint on many of the strongest of pre-pandemic debtor covenants, and as the ongoing economic uncertainty continues, the lasting longer-term impact on the users and purveyors of SCF remains unclear. Administrative benefits
SCF facilitates the acceleration of customer receipts and therefore reduces the supplier’s credit control and administrative burden. Prima facie, SCF brings significant benefits to all parties; however, as with many types of finance product, these benefits have equivalent quid pro quos, especially for the supplier. With an uptick in SCF demand at a time when economic uncertainty refuses to wither away, it is important for businesses involved in SCF to consider the financial ramifications if the fragile business chain were to break.

what is a scf

At the heart of any good SCF program is the ability to balance your working capital needs with those of your suppliers. Mitigants
SCF reduces the supplier’s reliance on alternative forms of finance, and in turn reduces the supplier’s financial leverage risk. This reduction in third-party borrowings can also have supplementary benefits such as lower director personal guarantee requirements. When the external finance provider extends finance, it can be at the request of supplier or at the request of buyer by earmarking the credit limits of the concerned party. In the aftermath of Carillion’s downfall it was disclosed that payment terms with its suppliers were an average of 120 days – these were also the terms on which the SCF lender was repaid.

Converting actual volumes to standard volumes

Supply Chain Finance commonly known as (SCF) is a type of supplier finance which enables the sup­plier to cash his receivables early than the actual payment date, thereby freeing up its working capital. With working capital being freed up, supplier can roll its capital for production of goods to honor the next purchase order. To make things a little clearer, let’s look at a hypothetical example of a supply chain finance solution in action. By harnessing technology effectively, Taulia is enabling businesses to maximize the potential benefits of supply chain finance.

The liquidity effect for Carillion and its supply chain was disastrous, resulting in the almost immediate failure of the construction company and terminal collateral damage through its network of suppliers. One of the more controversial traits of SCF is that the lending capital does not have to be declared as debt. In the case of Carillion, shortly prior to its collapse in 2018, up to £500m ($688m) of debt due to its SCF lender was categorised as trade payables, whereas loans and overdrafts on the balance sheet were reported in the region of only £150m. Typically, the supplier would ship the goods to the buyer, then submit an invoice under their payment terms (of, let’s say, net 30). Control
When using SCF, the supplier is not in control of the invoice certification process, which involves the buyer approving the invoice for payment – this can typically take around a week or longer.

Supply chain finance – also known as reverse factoring (and abbreviated as SCF) – is a way of offering your suppliers early payment in the form of a third party-funded solution. Unlike other forms of receivables financing, the cost of funding for suppliers using supply chain finance is based on your credit rating, rather than theirs. In the first instance, the buyer will enter into an agreement with a supply chain finance provider and will then invite its suppliers to join the program. Some supply chain finance programs are funded by a single bank, financial institution or alternative finance provider, while other programs are run on a multi-funder basis by technology specialists via a dedicated platform. Supply chain finance is offered by diverse financial institutions, from banks to dedicated supply chain finance providers like Taulia.