Managing a supply chain is as much about ensuring a seamless flow of finances as it’s about tracking and ensuring the availability of raw material and finished products. To ensure an uninhibited stream of goods, it’s essential that payments processed across the board are executed on time, tracked accurately, and optimised to avoid extra costs to the organisation.

As part of a typical supply chain, every organisation manages payments with multiple suppliers, lenders, retailers, logistics providers, etc.

Companies spend thousands of dollars improving the ways in which they source and distribute goods and services. Manufacturing companies, in particular, are scouring the world for materials that will be shipped thousands of miles away to be manufactured and distributed to sales sites in all four corners of the globe. Simple online payment systems allow can help these companies to manage this process cost-effectively.

The Internet has further transformed the supply chain process. The term “e-business” is commonly used to describe the planning and execution of front-end and back-end operations in a supply chain using the Internet”. From grocery stores to computer manufacturers, the Internet allows information to be integrated across the entire organization. This integration allows companies to monitor and forecast demand more accurately and allocate assets more productively, while improving customer service with a more responsive and consistent user experience.

Despite the availability of automated payment programs from organisations such as Visa, most companies have not integrated payment into their supply chain management systems, resulting in inefficient financial processes. This is a curious anomaly since, automating payment can benefit not only the payment process but the supply chain as a whole.

The good news for companies is that payment solutions exist today that can add significant advantages in terms of saving time, reducing cost and increasing visibility. What’s more, these solutions have been designed to integrate seamlessly with companies’ existing supply chain infrastructure. The net results are measurable benefits for suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers.