Category: Technology & telecoms
Highly Commended: Scientist.com
Summing up: A programme designed to bring the benefits of supply chain financing to small suppliers of research services within the pharmaceutical industry where extended payment terms are the norm.
What the judges said: “Excellent entry and concept.” “It is a plus that the solution created benefits for both clients and suppliers.”
- Platform focuses on small suppliers often excluded from SCF
- Reduced payment terms from 75 days to 15 days
- Supported $1.9 million in early payments within three-month period.
Scientist.com is a B2B research marketplace where pharmaceutical companies can source research services offered by thousands of suppliers via one platform.
In 2019, the company created SciPay, a working capital solution offering early payment options, invoice management tools and dynamic discounting options, which aims to support the work of Scientist.com to drive innovation in pharmaceutical development.
The company has set itself the ambitious goal of curing all disease by 2050.
The SciPay platform created in partnership with Kyriba offers financing solutions to smaller providers on Scientist.com’s network that are often excluded from the large-scale supply chain finance programmes offered by big pharmaceutical firms.
Access to these larger platforms often requires buyers to be spending millions of dollars with the supplier – which is not always the case for the smaller company. The on-boarding process can also be complex, time-consuming and costly.
Without access to SCF, small providers struggle with their working capital needs due to the long payment terms – often averaging up to 120 days – which are typical in the pharmaceutical industry.
Without a steady stream of timely payments, small companies lack the funding needed to explore and finance new research projects.
SciPay aims to overcome this by enabling suppliers of any size on its network to be paid for services within 15 days and offer the ability to on-board suppliers within days rather than months.
A byproduct of SciPay has been the reduction of risk for both suppliers and clients. Clients benefit from a regular consistent workflow where work must be completed before invoices are paid. These large pharmaceutical buyers also benefit from being able to extend their payment terms without upsetting suppliers as Scientist.com takes on the burden of the payment.
Suppliers benefit from early payment which enables them to bid for other work safe in the knowledge they now have adequate liquidity in place to support them.
SciPay went live in May and it has facilitated $1.9 million in early payments to suppliers within a three-month period. It has also cut payment terms for suppliers from 75 days to 15 days.
Transactions placed through SciPay have secured Scientist.com $45.5 thousand in revenue over that same three-month period.
Since the platform went live in May, Scientist.com has successfully signed up 45 suppliers to the programme, all of which define themselves as small businesses. It has more than 3,100 suppliers on its network offering great potential for further growth of the SciPay solution.
Onboarding has so far been quick compared to industry norms, with signed suppliers able to be on-boarded and request early payment within the same day. SciPay has also reduced the entire lifecycle of the procurement process by 50 percent.