This week on The Armchair Trade podcast we had the opportunity to speak to visionary Italian CEO Alessandro Zamboni, who heads up Supply@ME.Capital [LON:SYME].
We have been wanting to get Zamboni on the podcast for some time because of the unique position of his business and his vision for the way inventory should be managed.
Inventory management can sound dry to some investors, but inventory is a real issue for companies. Having kicked the tyres more than once on companies in the ERP sector, we know what a headache inventory management can be when you get it wrong.
Supply@ME is building a platform that provides a securitisation scheme for companies so that an exchange value can be applied to their inventory for financial transaction purposes. It could end up being a very valuable piece in the puzzle for not just companies with warehouses full of inventory, but also for the insurance sector and for lenders.
You would have thought the banks would have dreamed up something like this long ago, but as we discuss on the podcast, this is not the case. The commodities business solved this trick many years ago, with futures contracts and a central exchange to trade them on. Under that scenario, consumers and traders were able to put a price on undelivered product.
With Supply@ME we are taking stock in warehouses and making it into a securitised contract. It seems amazing to us that a small company like Supply@ME has taken this on, but Zamboni’s revolutionary zeal comes across in our interview. Companies can leverage the Supply@ME infrastructure to create cash flow without the need to incur debt / bridging finance.
This all makes a lot of sense to us at a time when we have seen what can happen when supply chains get disrupted. The emphasis on just-in-time delivery which has become a watchword for the inventory supply and delivery industry has also turned into a vulnerability, as we have seen how Brexit barriers, the pandemic and other unforeseen blockages like ships running aground in the Suez Canal can create all kinds of problems at the delivery end. We do get a chance on the podcast to ask Zamboni about Brexit on the podcast, and whether he sees it as a challenge or an opportunity for Supply@ME.
We talk on the podcast about the roots of Supply@ME in the Italian corporate market, and pan-European strategic ambitions, including plans for the UK. We also look at the company’s recent venture into shariah finance and the reasoning behind that.
We discuss the recent acquisition of TradeFlow Capital Management by Supply@ME, which is still in progress. TradeFlow is a Singapore fintech which is in the commodities trade enablement business. This deal makes a lot of sense to us, as it provides further valuable pipes for the Supply@ME plumbing, including the ability to offer commodities in transit. Zamboni also tells us a little more about his captive bank operation and how that will slot into the whole plan.