Italy's OTB extends financial backing opportunity to more suppliers
OTB, the fashion group owned by Renzo Rosso, has announced its decision to extend to all its subsidiaries the CASH (Credito Agevolato – Suppliers’ Help) programme which provides financial backing to companies belonging to the group’s supply chain. CASH was first introduced in 2013, its beneficiaries are the suppliers of OTB’s Staff International subsidiary, the licensed producer and distributor of Dsquared, Just Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood and Koché, and also in charge of the supply chain for Marni and Maison Margiela.
“In 2013, we launched CASH because we had realised that many Staff International suppliers, small and medium-sized Italian companies, sometimes faced difficulties and failed to gain access to loans, except at punishing conditions. For our business model, having a supply chain that is financially unsound is a huge risk,” said Ubaldo Minelli, CEO of OTB, speaking to FashionNetwork.com. “We therefore asked for and obtained a €50 million line of credit, at the favourable conditions reserved to our group, and we put it entirely at our supply chain’s disposal, giving priority to healthy suppliers with the appropriate requisites,” he added.
The requisites relate to the following three parameters, none of them financial in nature: the first, ‘performance & quality’, is based on order fulfilment, delivery timing and quality standards; the second, ‘partnership’, relates to reliability in document and information handling; and the third, ‘compliance and sustainability’, covers environmental and CSR certifications, and the implementation of specific sustainability projects.
In practical terms, the suppliers with the requisites to access CASH are able to ask the banks involved for early payment of the invoices they issue to Staff International. Payment takes place a few days after the invoices are issued, via a very simple operational procedure.
“The relationship is between the banks and our suppliers, we do not act as intermediaries, we simply pay the banks when the invoices are due. Our suppliers are free to choose if and when to resort to the CASH programme,” said Minelli, adding that “the programme has had a positive multiplier effect on many levels. In 2013, Staff International had 450 Italian suppliers, of which just over 50% had the requisites to access the programme; now we have 853 suppliers, 743 of them in Italy, and over 80% of them are healthy, based on our parameters. Moreover, in the course of the years, some of our supply partners managed to negotiate better terms with their own banks, which didn’t want to lose them as clients.”
By extending the programme to all OTB subsidiaries, including Diesel and Brave Kids, another 400 suppliers are liable to be added to Staff International’s 853 existing ones. “Staff International is the company [within OTB] with the highest purchasing volume, worth annually €200 million, of which 90% is in Italy. By extending CASH to the Italian suppliers of all the group’s companies, another €70 million worth of purchases will be added. We are also assessing the possibility of extending the programme to some of our foreign suppliers,” said Minelli.
In thesix6 years since CASH’s inception, the programme has covered in excess of €210 million in payments, of which €50 million came in 2019 alone.
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