As an IT company with extensive experience in the financial industry but also in the development of software solutions - S&T has created a solution for Supply Chain Financing - Factoring: S&T Falcon®. This platform supports all types of domestic and international factoring: direct (regular) factoring, factoring with the right of recourse as well as reverse factoring. For the first time this year, S&T has realized the implementation of the Falcon® solution within one factoring company - Peterhof factoring. In this way, S&T’s portfolio in this area has been expanded to include clients who are non-banking financial institutions.
As a short-term financing of companies based on the purchase of non-due receivables, small and medium-sized companies show an increased interest in factoring in their daily business operations. It can be considered a kind of response to liquidity challenges, as well as a response to the credit rating problems of economic entities.
“Motives for implementing the S&T Falcon® solution came from the market demand for our services. The increasing demand for factoring services, a dynamic environment, the necessary digitization of the process and the desire to make the whole process quick and simple for our clients made us search for a unique solution that we consider reliable and efficient. It was important for us to find a solution that would ensure the reliable operation of the Supply Chain Financing platform, but a platform that would not only cover the entire administrative process, including other types of factoring. Here we recognized the potential of the S&T Falcon® solution and the team that worked on it,” said Ana Mladenović, head of implementation in Peterhof.
The project was implemented in three phases. The first phase included a detailed analysis of the business processes of Peterhof factoring and the compatibility of the S&T Falcon® software solution, with the aim of adapting the future solution to the greatest extent to the client and supporting the business as a whole. This approach made it possible to familiarize the user with the software in detail already at the beginning of the project, as well as to assess all the necessary improvements and adaptations of the application on the part of the S&T company.
The second phase of the project, which involved the development of identified differences, was implemented following agile principles and software development methodology, which was supported and recognized as very effective by Peterhof factoring. In this way, many functionalities were tested during the development phase, and the users had the opportunity to learn more about the solution and be trained for future work. Also, with this way of working, S&T managed the organization of resources and solving problems that arose in a timely manner.
Consequently, the third phase of the project, user testing, took significantly less time and was completed without major problems.
A special challenge on the project was the choice of methods to infrastructural support for the software solution, taking into account the fact that fintech companies usually do not have their own data centres and internal support. Therefore, it was decided that the solution would be hosted by a hosting provider in a cloud environment, and the entire process of configuring the system was performed in cooperation with S&T colleagues and support from the provider. Hosting in the cloud environment provides fintech companies with system scalability that follows the company’s development, continuous monitoring and supervision of the system, as well as cost control proportionate with the consumption of resources.
The expected benefits are numerous: a more efficient and fast data processing system, reduction of the risk of human errors, business based on the principle of “one-stop shop”, faster and simpler implementation of business relations with clients, rejection of traditional “paper” factoring and positive reactions from clients primarily due to simplicity and ensured speed of application.
According to the plan, the project lasted six months and took place in the spirit of good and successful business relations. “We recognized S&T as a reliable partner with many years of experience in the banking sector, which it was ready to complement with new experience and work with private financial institutions. With the already developed S&T Falcon® solution, a team open to cooperation and the willingness to consider issues from the point of view of non-banking institutions, we considered them excellent partners in developing a complex and unique solution like the Supply Chain Financing - Factoring platform. I want to emphasize that during the development of the platform, which is primarily a Supply Chain Financing platform, we enabled work with all other types of factoring in parallel,” Mrs. Mladenović added.
The project with the Peterhof factoring house is supported by the American Agency for International Development - USAID, which was the reason for the representative of Peterhof factoring to be part of a panel discussion on the topic of fintech in Tirana, organized by the USAID Program for Stimulating the Growth and Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Region of the Western Balkans, where this project was presented.
Speakers discussed how fintech could contribute to bridging the gap between what the traditional banking sector offered and what modern business clients expected in terms of efficiency, speed and better customer experience. One of the ideas was to show how fintech solutions could help unlock the private capital needed for the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the region - in a fast and efficient way - and this is exactly what the S&T Falcon® solution can provide.
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