Delayed settlement of customer invoices can be a challenge for any company, however the problem is often particularly acute for SMEs.
Many smaller businesses do not hold large cash reserves and therefore have less leverage to negotiate with compared to bigger firms who are better placed to dictate terms, without worrying about affecting long-term relationships.
For the wholesale and distribution industry, these conditions can be especially problematic. The sector is noted for being a key link in the wider supply chain. Traders are often reliant on payments to reimburse their own suppliers and keep vital goods available to others.
Recent research from Close Brothers Invoice Finance found that both the manufacturing and wholesale industries find late payments around 10% more problematic than the average SME in the UK. Given that these sectors must continually reinvest to provide products for their own clients, it is perhaps unsurprising that they are most reliant on efficient customer remittance.