Challenges of supply chain finance: A detailed study and a hierarchical model based on the experiences of an Indian firm
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the different challenges that confront supply chain finance (SCF) and to develop a hierarchical model that analyzes the complex relationship dynamics among them.
Design/methodology/approach: An extensive survey is carried out amongst Indian firms to ascertain the perceptions and experiences related to different SCF challenges. After obtaining an overview of the different SCF challenges, an Indian company with global operations was approached and after establishing relationships among the challenges, a hierarchical relationship structure was developed and MIMBI analysis (where MI=measure of influencing; MBI=measure of being influenced) was carried out that helped understand the relationship dynamics of SCF challenges and identify actions at both strategic and tactical levels.
Findings: The study reveals that lack of common vision among the supply chain (SC) partners is the most critical challenge confronting SCF. Unpredictable cash-flows resulting from delays in financial transactions, due to lack of automation in the payment processes, along with lack of knowledge and training on SCF tools, also play significant roles. As organizations are tightly integrated through their SC, they should initiate collaborative approaches across the SC to reduce the total procure to payment cycle time and, in the process, improve overall financial stability of the SC.
Research limitations/implications: This study is based on the findings from the Indian industry; future research may include a large-scale survey and case studies across organizations located in different countries and operating under different environments.
Practical implications: Based on the study, firms can evaluate the dynamics of SCF challenges and redefine SC relationships and strategies to achieve desired cash flow in the SC.
Originality/value: The academic literature on financial supply chains is very limited. This paper appears to be the first formal attempt at analyzing the various challenges confronting SCF.