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>We agree with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) this week.

“Why do we find ourselves in a situation where some think it is acceptable and fair to not pay our small businesses on time? The truth is that it isn’t fair – everyone deserves to be paid on time” Claire Reading, FSB

It’s not just small businesses, we work with lots of ‘medium sized’ businesses that also don’t get paid on time. But is it because their customer is managing their own cashflow or cannot actually afford to pay (more on that point later).

It could be that they can’t pay because the invoice they have received is incorrect (the price is wrong, the PO number quoted is wrong etc). In our credit management consulting work, we usually see a greater level of non-payment due to errors in the sales order processing than customers deliberately late paying.

There are, of course, organisations that live by the belief that, if the supplier doesn’t chase for the unpaid invoice then they don’t deserve to be paid. Recruit a good credit controller (or outsource your credit control to an organisation like ours) and this will never apply to you and your customers.

If the supplier doesn’t check out who they are supplying to before they process an order (to ensure that that particular customer can actually afford what they are buying- and the quality and quantity of data on a business’s financial and reputational performance is significant and easily available) then the battle to get paid is lost before it’s even started!

So why #mysupplychainmatters? Because we agree with the Fair Pay, Fair Play campaign of the FSB. We support the Prompt Payment Code that the Government in conjunction with the CICM has developed – it just needs to be a higher profile and a higher priority right now.

We need to change how a customer treats their supplier. Let’s encourage business stakeholders to build relationships with their suppliers that recognise that non-payment is going to be ultimately damaging to the supplier. If the supplier gets the process for getting paid wrong, lets make it easy, as a customer, for the supplier to get it right (or at least provide a great support availability to deal with questions a supplier may have to ensure that they get it right themselves).

Let’s therefore demonstrate in our business dealings that #mysupplychainmatters