Getting cash to suppliers safely but as early as possible delivers significant cost savings. These arise principally because the buyer typically has better access to liquidity than the supplier does - which means the cost of working capital in the supply chain is lower - and this is a big saving.
Our early pay system gives buyers the opportunity to accelerate payments to the point of shipment. This typically delivers savings of up to 1% or more on the cost of goods being supplied - whether on a landed basis or FOB. The saving is realised over our platform and used to reduce the cost of goods directly. If buyers want early payments to be funded externally, then see our PrimaSCF product.
PrimaEarlyPay is our automated, straight-through system which enables suppliers to request early payment, sign the legal documents involved, and then for buyers to manage the risks and consequences of payment before goods are receipted. Getting cash to suppliers as early as possible typically delivers savings of up to 1% or more on the cost of goods - and leads to significant strengthening of the supply chain. Supply chain resilience is one of the top issues facing most global businesses today - and reducing working capital stress is a good way to increase supplier loyalty, reduce costs and to help suppliers to build stronger balance sheets of their own.
The steps involved in an early payment to suppliers are:
Approve the invoice for payment - for example, using PrimaMatch and PrimaApprove which enable this to be done automatically at shipment or despatch and before goods are delivered.
Determine the percentage of the invoice that is approved (eg: 90%) - this drives what can be paid early.
Determine the discount for early payment to be offered to the supplier (eg: 0.5%-1% per month of acceleration).
Over the platform, suppliers are offered early payment on these terms. Suppliers can accept or ignore the early payment offer.
Suppliers accepting the early payment offer use our PrimaSign system to execute an electronic legal agreement on our platform.
The initial amount is paid to the supplier (over our platform).
At invoice maturity (say 75, 90, 120 days later), suppliers receive a balancing payment net of debit notes, set offs and any other deductions - together with a comprehensive statement generated over our platform.
If our PrimaApprove product is used, then the approval levels (percentage of the invoice and discount to be charged) are automatically calculated via a rules engine that the buyer controls. The rules engine compares up to 100 different aspects of the paperwork and data provided by the supplier at the time of shipment. It is, literally:
Ship on Monday
Documents on Tuesday
Approvals and early payment on Wednesday
The two payment system - essential risk management
The two payment system is unique (as far as we can tell) to the Prima platform, although this model is widely used in the factoring industry to manage the risk of early payment. Based on analysis and experience, the buyer determines how much of an invoice is safe to "advance" early, keeping back a reserve amount to handle debit notes, set offs, deductions and other discrepancies that can arise in the order course of business. This is the safe way to manage early payment and also means that the buyer is not taking on any additional material risks. From an accounting point of view, this is also essential, as otherwise buyers can end up needing to make provisions against over-payments that they have made to suppliers.
So, typically, the initial amount is set at a level that is equal to 2x the historically experienced level of debit notes and deductions applied to a given supplier - meaning the chance of over-payment on a single invoice is very low. On top, our legal agreements enable buyers to establish a global set off position against suppliers across all invoices. For example, if the advance rate is 90% and the invoice term is 100 days - and invoices are being presented every 7 days - then within 70 days a set off position equal to an entire shipment is achieved (ie: 70 days = 10 shipments = 10x10% held back = 100% of an invoice is now held in hand by the buyer). This means buyers are able to agree early payments before goods are received using the two-payment system to manage risk. In some industries, it is fine to advance even 95% to suppliers. In others (eg: food supply chains), the advance rate may be as low as 50%. But every cent that can be paid early makes a difference - and is crucial to the financial stability of the supplier.
These kinds of processes have only be available to the largest corporates globally - able to invest many $ millions in their accounting and ERP systems. PrimaEarlyPay brings these outcomes down to a very low cost, available to SME and mid-cap companies that do not want to invest heavily in new accounting and ERP systems themselves.
Our platform has six components
Different parts of our platform cover different elements of the documents and cash process flowing through supply chains.
PrimaEarlyPay links through to other components that can be used to achieve an automated, straight-through process on paperwork, approvals and payments.
Most clients realise savings of up to 1% or more on the costs of goods that they purchase - simply by making documents and cash flow more efficiently through their supply chains.