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Involving financial service providers in supply chain finance practices: Company needs and service requirements

Judith Martin (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Erik Hofmann (University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Applied Accounting Research

ISSN: 0967-5426

Article publication date: 13 February 2017




The purpose of this paper is the analysis of reasons to involve financial service providers (FSPs) in the integrated management of supply chain flows through supply chain finance (SCF) practices. In addition, service requirements are derived for FSPs in order to respond to company needs related to SCF practices.


The selected methodology represents a multi-method approach. First, a survey with 62 companies from Switzerland and ten expert interviews were applied to analyze company needs. Second, the study was complemented with a review of gray press, online offers and 11 expert interviews on the service offer of FSPs for managing supply chain flows.


The results derive company needs for an integrated management of supply chain flows. The company needs are matched with available service offer of FSPs. Based on this match quality gaps are identified and service requirements are derived. The results describe initial measures to close the quality gaps.

Research limitations/implications

This research primarily focuses on financial flows related to the working capital of companies thereby neglecting fixed assets.

Practical implications

The results provide companies with a structured process to analyze the value added of FSPs. FSPs can use the results to better match their service offer with company needs.


This research contributes to research on SCF by developing a structured process for analyzing the company needs for SCF practices as well as the value added of FSPs in offering these practices.



Martin, J. and Hofmann, E. (2017), "Involving financial service providers in supply chain finance practices: Company needs and service requirements", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 42-62.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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