Originally published by the Drinks Association on 3 May 2021
Australia’s biggest drinks distributors are turning to homegrown fintech to ensure their local suppliers can invest in creating world-class drinks that delight end customers.
The recent economic environment has suffocated cash flow for many small and medium businesses in Australia, with local brewers and distillers feeling it the most, according to Guy Saxelby, chief executive of Australian fintech, Earlytrade.
“The effects of lockdowns and physical distancing still linger for the drinks industry, plus interest rates are actually not as low or accessible for local small brewers and distillers as for large business,” Mr Saxelby said.
“Cash is harder to come by than it should be for boutique set-ups but we’re seeing when you give a local brewer or distiller flexibility on timing of invoice payments they pick up the ball and run!
“These are passionate businesses run by savvy and creative people. Our clients in the drinks space – Coles Liquor, Asahi, Lion – are giving their suppliers a better option than a debt-based bank loan or expensive overdraft and complex factoring facilities.”
Earlytrade, an Australian owned and operated supply chain software provider, partnered with major purchasers such as Lion, Asahi and Coles Liquor during the pandemic to drastically reduce payment times to suppliers.
Mr Saxelby said Australia’s burgeoning local drinks industry displayed its determination during 2020 but it was more evident than ever that without cash flow, they simply cannot deliver for their buyers to keep Aussie consumers happy.
Pikes Wines puts on-demand payments into raw materials
The Clare Valley-based vineyard and beverages producer, Pikes Wines, has used Earlytrade’s platform since mid-2019 to track invoices with the retail giant Coles Group.
“[Earlytrade’s supplier portal] confirms the invoice is all correct, we get good email notification whether an invoice is okay for payment, then we have a known result — a known day when the payment will be made,” said Wayne Butcher, Pikes Wines General Manager.
Money in the bank is confidence for award winning Wolf Lane Distillery
The Cairns-based, Australian-owned Wolf Lane Distillery has gone from strength to strength since launching their crisp botanical gins in October 2019, including distribution through national chains Liquorland and Vintage Cellars.
“Getting paid regularly allows us to grow and expand quicker, knowing that the money comes through faster,” Director Darren Barber says
Milton Rum Distillers fuel growth with faster cash flow
It was in the middle of the global COVID-19 uncertainty when Milton Rum Distillery launched into the retail giant Coles Group.
Managing director and master distiller Alexander Bell says it is critical for their business to manage payments into the business as soon as possible.