Lion recognises the importance of building sustainable partnerships with the thousands of businesses it works with. It wants to improve the way it engages and works with its suppliers as well as reduce costs and deliver sustainable savings across the business while using minimal internal resources.
The environment at the time saw many large FMCG companies extending payment terms to their suppliers. At the same time, public and government scrutiny of multinational corporate payment practices grew. Lion saw an opportunity to not only innovate, but use technology to create a competitive advantage when doing business with its suppliers. It also saw how challenging the working capital landscape was for its suppliers and wanted to help but did not want to lose control of the relationships with its suppliers or offer expensive supply chain financing rates.
In 2017, Lion partnered with Earlytrade because its technology solution offers flexibility to Lion and its suppliers, while delivering the best results. Earlytrade’s early payment program is driven by a dynamic online marketplace enabling thousands of Lion’s suppliers to bid for on-demand early payment.
Lion valued the simplicity of Earlytrade’s standalone software platform which was easy to get up and running. Once launched, availability of the platform required no additional internal resources to run, which was important for the Lion team.
Value for Lion and its suppliers continues to increase over time, as the network effect of trading partners builds. The platform featured a simple integration for Lion and single click sign-up for its suppliers.
“We recognise that improving cash flow is a common challenge for many of our suppliers, particularly small suppliers, that’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with Earlytrade. This technology solution is a win/win for Lion and our suppliers and, together with our default 30 day payment terms, will give suppliers another option for early payment when it suits their business needs.”
—Steph Nixon, CFO
In the first 9 months of launching the Earlytrade program 21% of Lion’s suppliers adopted and began using the platform. These suppliers registered $1.2 billion in spend on the platform.