Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd and Zurich Insurance PLC have turned around their payment practices following recommendations made by the Small Business Commissioner. The Commissioner published reports uncovering internal inefficiencies in both companies which resulted in poor payment practice to their small business supply chain.
Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd agreed to review their payment practices following the Commissioner’s report in February 2020 and provide evidence of the procedural changes made to tackle late payments in their small business supply chain. The Commissioner was pleased to learn that the company was using recommendations in the report as a tool to ensure enhanced communication of, and compliance, with their existing processes.
Similarly, the Commissioner held a review meeting with Zurich Insurance PLC and found that the company has worked hard to make improvements and has increased its efficiency by making 75% of payments electronically, with only 25% now being paid by cheque. It has also provided key points of contact within teams for supplier queries to prevent delays in payment.
Interim Small Business Commissioner, Philip King said: “It’s great to see businesses taking on board the recommendations we made and their willingness to work with us to improve payment practices for the benefit of smaller organisations in the supply chain. At this time of national crisis, it is imperative for large businesses to act responsibly and ensure obligations towards suppliers are fulfilled. Small businesses are vital to the UK economy and the SBC is committed to driving a culture change and ending unfavourable payment practices.”
Will Tanner, Director of Communication at Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd said: The report by the Small Business Commissioner has been a useful tool to help us review our payment practices, particularly with regard to small and medium enterprises. We have taken action across the UK business to ensure we continue to comply with our existing practices and that these are communicated effectively.
David Nichols, Chief Claims Officer at Zurich Insurance PLC said: “We continuously strive to improve our business practices to enhance the experience our customers and suppliers receive. The feedback we received from the Small Business Commissioner was in relation to payment practices with one of our suppliers which triggered us to review our approach and enhance our payment practices. It was great for us to be able to work with the Small Business Commissioner.”
The Small Business Commissioner’s reports can be viewed at: https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk
Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd.’s response to the Commissioner can be viewed at: https://www.smallbusinesscommissioner.gov.uk
Contact: Manveer Mann on 0121 695 7761
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner was launched in December 2017 to ensure fair payment practices for Britain’s 5.7 million small businesses, support them in resolving their
payment disputes with larger companies and bring about a culture change in payment practices between businesses and across sectors.
In addition to investigating complaints about late payment issues, the Office provide a variety of free and impartial services such as:
- Resolving disputes and dealing with unpaid invoices
- Checking contracts and getting invoices right
- Signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services
- Interest Calculator on its website – allowing small firms to calculate interest owed on unpaid invoices.
* Legislation imposed in April 2017 required all large businesses to publish their payment practices.