The FLOW-bill is a unique Ebill invented by Obillex, that flows from the buyer, down the supply chain to bottom tier suppliers. Unlike an invoice which is non-transferrable for suppliers and constricts the buyer's visibility to only its immediate supplier (the tier one supplier), the FLOW-bill allows buyers to have visibility past the immediate suppliers, to their subcontractors, and their subcontractors, on and on to the bottom tiers in the supply chain.
What makes the FLOW-bill special?
BENEFITS FOR SUPPLIERS
1. Cost savings and visibility of supplier margins for Buyers
The FLOW-bill is unique as it not only allows buyers to view their entire supply chain, but also analyse the exact margins added at each tier of their supply chain. By analysing the margins made at each tier, the buyer's procurement department can better negotiate contracts to achieve maximum cost savings while still maintaining quality and quantity. Cost reduction continues to be a high priority for chief procurement officers (CPOs), as more than three quarters of about 500 respondents in a Deloitte procurement survey said it is a top business strategy. In addition 65% said they have limited to no visibility beyond their tier 1 suppliers.
The FLOW-bill ensures every tier in the supply chain is paid the same day the tier one supplier is paid. This allows buyers to showcase a true sense of corporate social responsibility by ensuring local SMEs who tend to be in lower tiers of the supply chain, are not abused by suppliers in upper tiers.
2. Corporate Social Responsibility
The FLOW-bill allows buyers to earn early payment fees from not only the first tier but each tier down their supply chain without using any of their working capital or 3rd party funding. For buyers with existing SCF programmes that have poor supplier adoption, it helps them access lower tier suppliers who tend to be smaller companies in desperate need of cash.
3. New source of Income for Buyers
1. The ultimate cash alternative for cash-strapped suppliers
With trapped receivables growing into a £1.2 Trillion global problem, the use case for the FLOW-bill has become more and more apparent, making it Obillex's most valuable USP.
The FLOW-bill acts as the ultimate cash alternative for suppliers with trapped working capital, allowing them to securitise their outstanding receivables into transferable instruments (i.e. FLOW-bills) that they can use to pay their own suppliers.
This means a supplier with £10m in outstanding receivables and £10m in payables can directly use its receivables to extinguish its payables without relying on cash or taking on debt in the form of overdrafts, loans or invoice factoring.
Take the example of JB Cycles. Without using their own cash or taking up finance JB Cycles can write off trade payables to their suppliers by exchanging them with their own shorter-term trade receivables.
For example, let us assume JB Cycles has a £1000 invoice with Birmingham City Council due payment in 30 days. Instead of waiting for it to mature, JB Cycles can securitise part of the £1000 receivable from Birmingham City Council and pass it on as a payment to its own supplier AD Tyres, who it owes £800 due payment in 60 days.
By passing part of the trade receivable to AD Tyres, JB Cycles not only writes off its £800 payable to AD Tyres but also enables an opportunity to generate new income by providing early payment.
AD Tyres, on the other hand, is motivated due to the fact that it now holds potentially a more secure receivable which is not only backed by a higher credit rated buyer (Birmingham City Council) but also matures 30 days earlier. Moreover, because no 3rd party funding is required for the early payment, the fee charged to AD Tyres is significantly smaller and more negotiable.
Using the same strategy, AD Tyres can also decide to write off some of its payables using the same FLOW-bill by passing it down the supply chain and also collecting its own early payment fees. This can go on and on down the supply chain allowing each tier in the supply chain to utilise their trapped receivables to write off their own payables, all whilst earning early payment fees. On maturity of the FLOW-bill i.e day 30, each supplier which holds part of the receivable is paid by Obillex. The buyer and Obillex partners earn a share of every early payment fee charged in every tier.
2. Allows suppliers to write off payables and generate income
The FLOW-bill, unlike an invoice, can be passed down from supplier to supplier up to the bottom-most tier of the supply chain. This presents suppliers the opportunity to not only use their receivables to write off their payables but also presents an income generation opportunity through early payment fees, as the leverage their shorter-term receivables to write off longer-term payables.
BENEFITS FOR BUYERS
It's becoming increasingly dangerous for buyers to ignore their supply chains, as rising consumer expectations demand both higher product availability and corporate transparency. Many organizations are leaving themselves exposed to potential supply chain disruption and margin erosion by having limited visibility of their supply chains beyond the first tier. The FLOW-bill allows buyers to have better visibility of their suppliers down their supply chain, allowing them to see past what is cloaked by tier one suppliers.
4. Supply Chain Risk
Visibility Barrier (No Visibility)
Buyer and Tier 1 Supplier
Tier 3 Supplier
Tier 2 Supplier
Tier 4 Supplier
Tier 5 Supplier
Poor payment practices
BENEFITS FOR PARTNERS
1. A new source of Income
2. Market it as your own (Whitelabel)
Obillex allows its partners to earn a share of all early payment fees generated by the platform. Unlike SCF programmes you stand to earn more with the FLOW-bill, as it goes beyond the first tier of the supply chain, allowing SCF programmes to access cash strapped SMEs in lower tiers.
3. Exclusive partnerships
As part of Obillex's expansion strategy, Obillex is willing to offer exclusive partnerships to technology partners that have large supplier networks and can showcase their commitment to working hand in hand with Obillex in delivering a profitable partnership.
Obillex provides its partners with a White-label arrangement based on a revenue share agreement. This allows partners to market Obillex's USPs as their own and leverage Obillex's expertise and technology to launch its own products