Our SCF Corporate Event in Germany 2024

Rea Bosco Vaz

date: March 14, 2024

The SCF Corporate Event at Smartvillage Schwanthalerhöhe in Munich on March 5, 2024, proved to be a captivating gathering, showcasing thought-provoking presentations and fostering valuable connections.

Commencing at 9:30 AM CEST with a warm welcome and coffee, the event set the tone for an engaging day ahead. Notable speakers, including Frank Waechter from PUMA, Markus Haas of BayWa r.e., Christoph Brennsteiner from KTM, Thomas Krings of cflox GmbH and Michael Henke of Fraunhofer IML shared insights into navigating the complexities of today’s business landscape. 

Michael Henke of Fraunhofer IML provided a glimpse into the future of supply chain dynamics and financial strategies. He went on to discussing the Global Risks Report for 2024 by the World Economic Forum, initiating discussions that resonated with the audience. Throughout the whole presentation Michael emphasised on the continuum nature of supply chain. In addition he elaborated further on the new environment for this sector that is here to stay and on the unrealised potentials of Technology in Finance. Finally, he finished with an interesting discussion about the peoples’ perspectives.  

Following their introduction, Frank Waechter from PUMA delved into the topic of sustainable finance. He shed light on PUMA’s “Forever Better Financing” project, emphasizing their commitment as a founding member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Frank shared PUMA’s sustainable finance mission, including invoice-based post-shipment financing and innovative approaches like purchase order-based pre-shipment financing. Notably, PUMA requires suppliers to be committed to ESG standards, with many surpassing these benchmarks. In addition, technological revolutions and ways of broadening the scope of Supply Chain Finance were discussed. 

The next part of the event continued with Markus Haas’s presentation from BayWa r.e., addressing the pivotal topics of Supply Chain Crises, Resilience, and SCF. He discussed BayWa r.e.’s strategic objectives, emphasizing the need for enhanced working capital amid evolving energy supply dynamics in Europe.  

A compelling Interactive Workshop titled “SCF Withstanding Stormy Weather” by Michael Henke and Thomas Krings explored further the themes introduced by Michael earlier in the morning about new environments and frameworks that should be reflected on for future supply chains. Climate change and geopolitical risks were positioned as structural forces to be considered, with trade-offs between globalization, reshoring, friend shoring, and decoupling continuously balanced. The duo emphasized viewing disruptive risks and crisis mode as the new normal, identifying ESG compliance and sustainability investments as opportunities. They also touched upon technological revolutions and the broader scope of supply chain finance. They invited the delegates to participate in an interactive discussion, creating a space for different stakeholders present to share their challenges, requirements, and strategies currently in use to address the changing landscape of supply chains and their financing. Some of the main points of discussion were the position of the stakeholders on the new EU 30-day payment term directive, the corporate sustainability due diligence directive recently blocked in the EU parliament, and the need for communication between the financial and technical domains within corporates. 

The day’s proceedings continued with Luca Gelsomino’s research presentation, illustrating a collaborative effort between various universities involving research about 1000 companies listed on the Forbes list. Luca highlighted the increasing normative pressure driving disclosure in SCF programs within annual reports. He emphasized the need for informative disclosure text quality, pointing out that while reporting on quantitative information is on the rise, there’s a notable reduction, particularly in newly disclosed programs. The research indicated that SCF programs tend to constitute around 15% of total payables, focusing on deep-tier financing. 

Christoph Brennsteiner delved into the adoption factors in SCF, using Pierer Mobility as a case study. As a leading European-powered two-wheeler group, Pierer Mobility’s 12-year growth path highlighted the responsibility and dependency on suppliers. Christoph stressed the importance of understanding adoption factors among suppliers for successfully implementing SCF, unveiling a specific SCF framework tailored for Pierer Mobility. 

A panel discussion featuring Frank Waechter (PUMA), Thomas Krings (cflox), Anil Walia (Deutsche Bank), Markus Schiffers (Orbian), and Stephan Dellermann (goetzpartners) brought diverse perspectives to the forefront. Discussions included an emphasis on transparency with a focus on SCR, the evolving landscape of ESG in SCF, and the gradual shift towards a market standard. Anil Walia underscored that corporate strategy should drive sustainability and be linked to procurement rather than finance. Thomas Krings highlighted the importance of transparent communication within the network, expressing that not every corporation necessarily needs a sustainable finance program due to existing systems. 

Networking breaks and post-event drinks allowed attendees to forge meaningful connections, enhancing the collaborative spirit of the day. 

In conclusion, the SCF Corporate Event in Munich encapsulated a day of profound insights, research revelations, and robust discussions, offering a holistic view of sustainable finance, adoption factors, and the evolving market standards in supply chain finance. The event’s success was a testament to the collaborative spirit of the SCF community, paving the way for future engagements and exploration in this dynamic sector. 

For those who missed the event, this recap highlights the key takeaways, emphasizing the importance of staying connected for future opportunities. The SCF Community Team expresses gratitude for the active participation and enthusiasm and looks forward to continued collaboration in future events around the world.

Rea Bosco Vaz

Rea Bosco Vaz is the Head of Product and Market for the SCF Community and a researcher at the Faculty of Supply Chain Finance at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, in the Netherlands. Her research currently focuses on combining the fields of geosciences and SCF through the subject of critical raw materials (CRM). Rea also works for the SCF Community on events, marketing and as a liaison to finance and tech providers in the SCF industry.