The Bolero Supply Chain Financing solution is a bank-neutral service that automates the Open Account settlement process. It also provides the platform to partner with a Bank or other Financial Institutions to offer a range of competitive financing solutions to the Exporter and/or Importer. This solution was developed initially in partnership with a top-5 global bank and a major US retailer.
Specifically Bolero provides a web-hosted service available through standard Browser access, which maps the automation of the entire open account settlement process. The service consists of three interlocking components:
- The Bolero Core Messaging Platform and Supply Chain Collaboration Library
- Bolero’s powerful automated document compliance and matching engine
- The web-based Bolero Supply Finance Applications (designed for Importer, Supplier and Bank/FI access and specific application workflow).
Bolero provides structure and automation to the open account supply chain settlement process re-introducing certainty, visibility and management of risk normally associated with risk mitigation instruments such as the Letter of Credit, but without the associated costs, complexity and paper documents.
The Platform can be operated in a number of different ways allowing delivery flexibility and supporting both single and multi sources of finance:
- Operated by a large corporate as the Open Account settlement backbone between itself and its suppliers. As a multi-bank/FI platform allowing the participation of one or more Banks or Financial Institutions who can provide finance to either Buyer or Suppliers (or both)
- Offered by a bank as a white-labelled service - as a platform for the bank’s competitive supply chain financing solutions or as an “agent” for a broader SCF program
- Offered by non-bank service provider as a service offering in conjunction with one or more bank and/or non-bank sources of finance
Bolero’s vision for this platform is to focus on the automation of the supply chain settlement process but not to directly determine or provide financing services. By taking this stance, this ensures that Bolero does not disintermediate banks and provides flexibility to use multiple sources of financing. This also ensures that Bolero is positioned as a common platform for delivery of this service, rather than as a specific financing solution for a specific customer.
In addition to the automation of the settlement process, the Bolero platform also supports the role of third party authority (service provider or bank) in the role of outsourcing the open account settlement process and document compliance, on-ramping of suppliers and in the role of independent “governor” of the execution of an agreed “firm payment undertaking”.
The Bolero solution provides a platform with rules-based configuration and role management to support these various types of implementation from a single hosted service.
Although the Bolero solution can be demonstrated as an out-of-the–box on-demand solution, an element of configuration needs to be included in any live implementation schedule. The messaging platform paradigm allows this solution to readily map onto real world document flows and document-based business processes.
The key process flows supported by the Bolero Supply Chain Finance solution are:
- The Importer establishes Purchase Order (PO) settlement rules (compliance and matching) for each or all vendors
- The Importer distributes PO to Vendor (Exporter) via Bolero as a BoleroXML document (the solution allows automatic mapping from the Importer’s EDI PO or direct mapping from their ERP/Procurement system)
- Exporter is notified of PO and accesses this detail through browser-based Bolero Exporter Workstation.
- The Exporter workstation includes Document Preparation capability to assist Exporter in producing compliant documentation (invoice, shipping doc and maybe others), or to enter these manually, or upload from their back office systems.
- Exporter “presents” the document set as fully electronic presentation (ePresentation).
- Compliance and Matching is done automatically by the Bolero Compliance Engine and Importer and Exporter (and optionally third party) are both notified of compliance or otherwise. As documents are sent electronically and matching is done automatically, notification of invoice approval is much earlier than in other SCF programs providing substantial additional days financing benefit.
- Importer now has a confirmed match for payment.
- Exporter has immediate visibility of compliance and does not need to spend the next 90 days chasing up to see if the invoice has been accepted.
- Exporter Invoice has additional value as this is now approved for payment and can be used for lower risk financing.
The Importer simplifies administration load considerably by eliminating the document matching process as well as gaining visibility on the whole PO/Invoicing matching between themselves and their suppliers and the cash required.
The Exporter gets reduced administration, automation of document creation, immediate visibility of approved Invoice and more certainty of cash receipts.
The end-to-end visibility and the confirmation of invoice/document approval naturally provide a perfect infrastructure for the provision of one or more financing programs by providing access to one or multiple financing providers.