At The Prompt Payment Directory our objective is simple, we want to build a platform that will not only help business suppliers of all sizes avoid the stresses of late payment but also reward customers of all sizes that practice good corporate governance and settle invoices within terms.
Late payment of commercial invoices in the UK is an iceberg issue.
It’s conservatively estimated that there are more than £30 billion worth of outstanding debts currently owed to businesses in the UK, of which about £26 billion is owed to small and mid-sized businesses.
In research conducted by the IoD at the end of 2014, 66% of its SME members had experienced problems with late payment.
By freeing up that money businesses will be less dependent on the banks for lending to finance growth, they will be more financially secure and more able to grow and in fact they will find it easier to borrow if they need to.
Cash flow issues are the single biggest factor putting British SMEs under pressure and sometimes out of business.
Additionally, at a human level cash-flow issues cost jobs and can ruin lives.
As we enter the post Brexit era the UK business community now more than ever needs to put its best foot forward and encourage increased FDI (foreign direct investment) by showing the world that Britain is a great place to conduct business in.
We understand that customer relationships are important to so many British SME’s. The risk of losing future business and income is very hard to weigh up against the impact of not being paid for work that has already been delivered.
However, threats, naming and shaming, legal action, debt collectors etc are not productive or cost effective ways to solve the problem and maintain good business relationships.
With a bit of collaboration and forethought it is possible to avoid not only these scenarios but other equally unpleasant steps.
For this reason we’ve built our platform based on five key principles:
Users can anonymously rate companies on The Prompt Payment Directory, this is to protect those valuable relationships.
Suppliers can give customers both positive and negative ratings. This is good for businesses that want to uphold and portray good corporate governance but bad for organisations that intentionally pay their suppliers late.
In situations where payment is overdue, suppliers can submit an explanation when rating a company.
This vital context provides a better understanding and appreciation of the circumstances.
While some clearly are, not all late payments of commercial invoices are due to intentional malfeasance.
The combined data that has been submitted for each business is processed to produce a PPD Score.
We have designed the platform incorporating a proprietary algorithm to ensure that the score cannot be unfairly skewed or manipulated.
We believe that, due to the nature of the issue, insight relating to the payment of commercial debts is best supplied by the creditors and not the debtors.
Crowdsourcing has successfully disrupted many other industries to deliver valuable services, and we think the same can be done here.
Knowing if you are about to go into business with a company that has a history of paying its suppliers late can turn an unforeseen disadvantage into a known about advantage.
In a business climate where all late payment is tarred with the same brush, one that skirts around context and picks on individual instances to portray the debtor as an institutional late payer, The Prompt Payment Directory represents an opportunity to redress the balance by rewarding those that pay on time while also presenting a balanced overview of the wider situation.
Benefits for those that contribute to and use The Prompt Payment Directory include:
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