Apr 22, 2013
Singapore/ Hong Kong, April 17th 2013 - Citi today unveiled an industry changing Trade Finance Interactive Solution at its annual Asia Pacific Treasury and Finance Conference. The capability, a new module that resides within Citi’s award-winning Citi Interactive Solutions software, will help Citi’s corporate clients gain competitive advantage, improve their working capital and optimise their balance sheet by opening up opportunities that reside in their supply chain.
Developed by Citi Innovation Lab in Singapore, the highly interactive, logic-driven and real-time capability applies data mining techniques to data from publicly available sources. Citi’s sales managers and relationship managers will be able to use the capability to assist corporate clients in identifying and structuring working capital optimisation programmes. The capability is being rolled out globally over the next few months, and will strengthen Citi’s focus to transform its engagements with corporate clients using cutting-edge technology and analytics.
Speaking at the launch, Matthew Frohling, Citi’s Regional Head of Supplier Finance for Asia Pacific says, “Today, most companies operate on razor-thin margins. By using this assisted capability, clients will now be able to better leverage their cash flow to make more efficient funding decisions on their activities. The capability enables companies to analyse their working capital efficiency and benchmark their performance against industry peers through sophisticated visualisation and reporting tools.”
Mr Frohling added, “One of the key highlights of the capability is that it arms the procurement organisation with key working capital metrics of their suppliers that allows them to make well-informed decisions. While the capability is built using publicly available data to model financial benefits, clients are encouraged to provide their own data if they want a more tailored sizing of the improvements that they can make to their company’s working capital.”
While the Trade Finance Interactive Solution may be used by all industries, it provides the most visible benefits for the industrial, branded consumer, technology and chemicals sectors due to the existence of shared suppliers within their respective ecosystems. Understanding how their suppliers perform and the terms at which they sell to other companies can help our clients better manage their supply chain.
Ravi Saxena, Citi’s Regional Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions for Asia Pacific says, “Given that regional treasury centres and, increasingly, supply chain hubs of multinationals are strategically located in Singapore, we expect the Trade Finance Interactive Solution to be used extensively here to serve the global supply chain needs of our clients.”
He added, “As this innovative capability drives new levels of operational efficiency and business agility, it will further entrench and strengthen Singapore's position as a global hub for trade finance.”
The Trade Finance Interactive Solution allows Citi’s clients to:
• Visualise their supply chain. Clients can identify their top suppliers and customers by spend and spot opportunities for supplier finance and receivables finance.
• Benchmark their working capital metrics such as Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), Days Payables Outstanding (DPO) and Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC) against their peers. Clients can choose the companies that they want to be compared against, and the visualisation and reporting tools can be updated in real time.
• Learn ways to improve their DSO and DPO through Citi’s broad spectrum of trade finance offerings.
• Identify suppliers that provide the greatest financial opportunities.
• Estimate the financial benefit that they can receive based on their chosen preferences and targeted suppliers.
Citi’s Trade Finance Interactive Solution, which took Citi Innovation Lab over 12 months to conceptualise, develop and refine in collaboration with its Treasury Advisory Group and Trade business, is built within its Citi Interactive Solutions patented software. The software was recognised for “Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology in the Private Sector (General)” at Singapore’s National Infocomm Awards in October 2012.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker