Observatory SCF: workshop review and platform economy

December 17, 2021

At the last 2021 meeting of the community of the Supply Chain Finance Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano, three thematic axes that are also important for the world of supply chain finance were taken stock of:

• digital payments
• cloud computing
• platform economy.

Through the presentation of research materials elaborated within the Politecnico's Observatories and with the help of qualified testimonies presented by partner companies, the workshop traced a course through the intersections between the infrastructural and financial dimensions of the digitisation process, while also observing its limits. Limits related to the standardisation of the proposed solutions, developed in an essentially B2C and retail market logic, which ends up watering down the specificity and effectiveness of traditional corporate 'vertical' solutions, but also to the need to effectively oversee the use of pay-per-use business models, constantly verifying the economic convenience of operations and not only the ease of use of the proposed services.

Perhaps the most interesting theme was that of the platform economy, as a pervasive model of supply/demand integration and multilateral partnership, capable of generating and enabling new business models, as well as new ways of doing old things. The possibility of taking advantage of interconnected systems, which allow transactions to be carried out in real time, collapsing the negotiation and execution phases, represents an inescapable vector of optimisation for any organisation. In this logic, platforms represent an investment in systems and process integration and act as an accelerator of business innovation.

This is also the logic in which Polaris recognises itself, a platform specialising in the management of supply chain finance products (reverse factoring, confirming, dynamic discounting), which it proposes in an original marketplace version, having engineered the onboarding and negotiation phases and having created a contractual infrastructure that confers legal certainty on the transactions carried out by its partners.