Supply chain cash flow slows, reversing 4 month trend, according to Cortera`s October 2009 Supply Chain Index

Tue Nov 3, 2009 7:56am EST

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Shift could reflect early arrival of historic seasonal trend, extension of debt
QUINCY, Mass. & BOCA RATON, Fla.--(Business Wire)--
Cortera, a community-driven business information company, announced the
publication of its October 2009 Supply Chain Index (SCI) report, a monthly index
of accounts receivable (A/R) activities covering manufacturers, distributors &
wholesalers, retailers, services, and transportation companies. Measuring
payment activities of approximately 350,000 businesses, the October SCI
indicated the slowing of payments and related cash flow throughout the overall
supply chain, reversing four consecutive months of improving conditions. While
the exact cause of the shift remains in question, it could represent an early
arrival of a similar seasonal pattern seen over the past couple of years (2007
and 2008), as manufacturers, suppliers and retailers take on additional trade
credit related debt in advance of the critical holiday shopping season. Overall,
the index remains 40 percent higher than pre-recession levels. 

"An abrupt slowing of payments and cash flow throughout the supply chain
typically indicates a waning confidence in sales. But we`ve seen similar spikes
occur in the past, as supply chain stakeholders make significant upfront
investments in preparation for the holiday shopping season," said Jim Swift,
president and CEO, Cortera. "What makes this one potentially puzzling is the
timing. We`re either looking at the impact of businesses stretching out such
debt over a longer period of time or confidence in the strength of a recovery
has dropped over the past month." 

The Cortera SCI tracks late payments against agreed upon terms, measuring late
accounts receivable (Late A/R), excessively late accounts receivable (Late A/R
>30 days), and overall average days beyond terms (Average DBT). A two year view
of this data is available on Cortera`s website. The Cortera SCI report is
published monthly. 

About Cortera

In a sea of business information providers, Cortera is different. With over 15
years of experience serving finance professionals, Cortera combines premium
business information and innovative tools with a fresh community approach to
commercial credit. It represents the first community for small business credit
reporting and a fundamentally new way to capture the collective insight of
millions of financial transactions. As a result, small businesses can make
smarter, informed decisions to ensure optimal cash flow while attracting more
favorable payment terms from existing and potential business partners. 

For more information on Cortera, please visit

VerColen Communications
Craig VerColen, 617-599-2180
Alex Coté, 857-403-1370 

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