Showing posts with label credit period. Show all posts
Showing posts with label credit period. Show all posts

Thursday 5 March 2015

120 days credit - a supplier own goal?

Yesterday’s Kamblog post re Lidl’s alleged request for 120 days credit raises some important issues for NAMs.
I believe that this first (?) move by a retailer in the UK is an unintended consequence of supplier attempts to reduce the cost of trade credit given to retailers by passing demands for extra days credit back up the pipeline to their suppliers...

In other words, the genie has been released from the 120 day credit-bottle, and we are now headed towards an era of universal 120 day credit.

Government intervention?
If governments are really serious about protecting small and medium sized enterprises, they will abandon the meaningless ‘on time payment’ condition and legislate to ensure that payment periods truly reflect order cycles and delivery frequencies, so that trade credit fulfills its original function - a bridge between buying and reselling..

Size of the problem - the calculations:
Say UK annual sales of Big 4 multiples   (2013/14)     =   £117bn ex VAT
Assuming average retail Gross Margins of 25%
Then Supplier sales to Big 4                                      =   £88bn ex VAT
Assuming average payment periods of 40+ days
Then retailers pay suppliers approximately 365/40 = 9 times/annum
Meaning the 4 retailers are holding a total of £9.8bn free credit from suppliers at any time i.e. £88/9
Assume cost of credit = 10%
Then it is costing the supplier base £980m p.a. to give interest-free credit to the Big 4
Which represents 1.1% of supplier sales i.e. 980/88,000 x 100

If the payment period moves out to 120 days, the same calculation shows that supplier cost of credit will move out to approximately £3bn, i.e. 3.4% of supplier sales…!

Action for NAMs
  1. Why not calculate your current cost of credit for each of the four multiples?
  2. Then calculate the cost to you of 120 days credit in each case, and the value to your customer in incremental sales….
  3. Then ask yourself about the impact on your bottom line, and practice reverse-negotiating the difference...

It will still be tough, but at least you will be way ahead of the supplier-pack…

Tuesday 27 January 2015

The 120-day trade credit norm – an eventual turnoff for the consumer?

As Diageo become the latest major company to extend the credit taken from their suppliers to between 90 and 120 days, the law of unintended consequences begins to kick in...

Passing extended credit burdens back up the pipeline can be regarded as a way a supplier can attempt to neutralise the cost of the credit they have to give their customers. However, as you know, a high added value company can never hope to fully pass on to their suppliers the cost of credit they give their customers.

This is because, in the case of a supplier where bought-in ingredients represent say 10% of their £75 trade price, when their customer on a trade margin of 25% delays payment of that trade price, the supplier would have to delay payment of their suppliers by ten times to cover the cost of the customer’s credit.

The key issue here is not just the pain they inflict upon a trade partner who cannot afford to pass on the cost to their supplier, if any.

What really matters is that, as 120 days becomes 'a common industry norm', so too the major retailers will be tempted to extend their credit periods to 120 days, 150 days or even 180 days, with payment every six months becoming a possible settling point...until the major suppliers attempt to catch up.

When even a savvy consumer accepts that credit over 30 days (itself an abuse of power when value can be exchanged in five days) is unacceptable, and eventually results in higher prices on shelf, they will attempt to exercise their ‘walkaway’ option, probably en masse…

In the way consumers are becoming increasingly critical of global companies finding locally legal ways of side-stepping their tax obligations, so too they will eventually make a connection between supply chain abuse and what they have to pay on shelf, and begin to boycott both brands and retailers...

Meanwhile, the only answer for a supplier faced with excessive credit demands in this generic world is to offer a package so unique and of such value that one earns the ability to deal a ‘walk-away’ card onto the table, and mean it….