Are your payment terms optimized? Probably not – and it costs you dearly. Calculation can help.

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Startup saves purchase-heavy businesses 8-10% on spend, freeing up working capital

By Riley Kaminer

Supply chain disruptions have been a wake-up call for businesses and consumers. They made us realize that the global market for goods is more fragile than we thought and that supply chain resilience is more important than ever.

Oliver Belin is a Miami-based supply chain expert. For most of the past two decades, Belin has focused on the financial side of the supply chain: aspects such as credit risk, payments and financing.

Although this area of ​​the supply chain tends to fly a bit under the radar, it can actually have a major impact on businesses. Take payment terms, for example. As a buyer, negotiating a 90-day versus 15-day payment contract allows you to keep your money for an additional 75 days. This could allow you to forego taking out a loan from a bank, which could be quite expensive given the ever-increasing interest rates.

The problem: Companies lack the data-driven insights needed to optimize their financial supply chain decision-making processes.

“90% of companies in the world have this problem,” Belin said. Refresh Miami. “Today, the majority of businesses apply the same payment terms that they have always used.”

The most sophisticated companies use Excel and optimize it manually,” Belin continued. “Very, very sophisticated competitors use PwC or McKinsey or EY – but they also use Excel.”

Belin started designing a solution to this problem in 2020. In 2021, he launched Calculum, an artificial intelligence-based platform that provides businesses with insights to help them improve their payment terms and unlock more funds rolling.

At the heart of the platform is Calculum’s database of 750,000 suppliers, giving users a first hand view of how their payment terms with a particular supplier compare to those of their competitors. Calculum suggests the optimal payment terms, analyzing the risks and financial parameters of each supplier.

Oliver Belin, Founder and CEO of Calculum

Through a recently announced partnership with London-based InvestVerte, Calculum now provides access to ESG metrics. This allows companies to use payment terms to incentivize suppliers to comply with ESG ratings. For example, if a supplier improves its ESG, the buyer can give it access to cheaper financing through its banking partners.

Belin claims that Calculum is able to deliver 8-10% free cash flow for every dollar spent analyzed. It can add up, since Calculum’s platform customers spend billions with vendors. These clients include a large multinational pharmaceutical company and the largest provider of cash management solutions.

Currently, the platform is focused on helping shoppers optimize their spending. Soon, Calculum hopes to overturn this model by also helping suppliers to optimize their negotiations. The startup also has a wide range of product enhancements underway, including the development of an API that allows their platform to connect directly to their customers’ ERP systems. In January, the company raised its first seed round: $1.7 million led by Miami-based Humla Ventures.

10 of Calculum’s 15 employees are based in downtown Miami. Belin, originally from Switzerland, has lived in Miami for five years, attracted by its international environment. This is a benefit to Calculum’s growth trajectory, as the company has imminent plans to expand throughout Western Europe, North America and Latin America.

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