Looking towards a more positive view of the future The Late payment Directory has now become The Prompt Payment Directory
Why the rebrand?
First impressions still count for a lot and books are often still judged by their covers (in spite of warnings to the contrary). As such we found that The Late Payment Directory didn’t adequately reflect the aspirations of the site.
The intention is, and will always be, to make a positive contribution without providing a platform for complaints and we want this to be reflected right from the outset in the name that we’ve given the directory.
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It’s well known that suppliers are wary of speaking up about issues of late payment for fear of retribution in the form of cancelled contracts or non-renewal of expired contracts.
This seems like an odd dichotomy: why risk the health and livelihoods bound up in a business by seeking to continue trading with customers that don’t pay on time? It’s a matter of first principles thinking, if a contract or business situation threatens the existence of a supplier then either the situation must change or be ended.
Of course the answer to that question is more nuanced.
Scale of opportunity, working relationships, contractual circumstances, human error (on both sides) are just some of the contextual aspects that can come into play when suppliers consider the cause and effect of an instance of late payment; it isn’t always simply down to poor corporate governance on the part of the customer.
So what’s new?
We want the service to not only cater for the contextual nuance surrounding late payment (as it has always sought to do), we want it to do more to achieve that objective right from the outset.
To do that we’ve changed not only the name but also how the site works with the aim being to aggregate a more balanced dataset.
Via a five point scale users can now rate companies across three key aspects of the business relationship:
- How likely the company is to pay on time
- What a company is like to do business with
- Whether or not the supplier would like to continue working with the ‘subject’ company
As with before, where some contributors may be issuing lower ratings due to late payment, we also encourage them to supply the explanation given for the delay in payment.
Together with questions relating to the presence of purchase order numbers, the delivery status of the goods or services being supplied and whether or not the invoice is under dispute, we process the data to provide a more balanced impression of the risk level.
Contributors still remain anonymous and in return for their first contribution they receive a full 12 months subscription for free.
The whole principle behind the directory remains focussed on the safe and responsible sharing of crowdsourced data which will help all parties become better informed and reduce the risk of invoices being paid late either by accident or design. To view an example click here.
Our fresh approach reflects a far more nuanced understanding of this area of corporate governance.
- We’ve always said that outright naming and shaming is counterproductive
- We’ve always said that context is vital to presenting the issue in a more balanced light
- We’ve always said that crowdsourcing is the best way to do this
Above all else we want to promote good corporate governance relating to the payment of commercial debts by encouraging organisations of all sizes and verticals to nurture a positive image on The Prompt Payment Directory. With government initiatives such as the duty to report slowly grinding into reality the need for balance will be greater still.
The Prompt Payment Directory remains exactly the same as the Late Payment Directory in its aims, the only difference being that The Prompt Payment Directory seeks to present those aims in the more positive light they have always been intended.
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In the months and years to come we want The Prompt Payment Directory to grow into the “go-to” destination for businesses looking to understand more about their clients and customers in relation to the vital issue of cashflow.
We also want those same clients and customers to see their presence on the The Prompt Payment Directory as a positive reinforcement of their commitment to good corporate governance in relation to the issue of supplier payment.
Our development plan reflects this objective and we look forward to implementing it and to helping UK businesses make better decisions that strengthen their trading relationships instead of weaken them.