AMSTERDAM, 12 September 2017 – Vopak, MN, Nedflex, Zicht adviseurs and MKB-Nederland
have joined Betaalme.nu. The initiative has now reached the milestone of 50 large organisations committed to shorter payment terms for their SME suppliers. Betaalme.nu aims to make it the norm that small and medium-sized companies are paid within a maximum of 30 days. The initiative now affects some €2 billion in invoices for around 200,000 small businesses*.
Minister for Economic Affairs Henk Kamp says: “I am happy that more and more large companies show they are aware of the interests of their smaller suppliers. For SMEs, it’s crucial to have invoices approved and paid within a reasonable timeframe. This allows them to pay their employees on time and to make investments. I call on all large companies to follow these 50 fine examples and to join Betaalme.nu.”
“Although the economy is performing well, late payments remain an oft-heard complaint from small companies,” says Leendert-Jan Visser, director of MKB-Nederland [SME Netherlands]. “We have been working for many years to show late-paying local authorities and large companies the problems they cause for their smaller suppliers, so we have welcomed Betaalme.nu from the start. We are now participating too, to emphasise that if you’re a client, it should be absolutely normal for you to pay your bills on time. Large companies that still don’t do that, and sometimes even abuse their position in relation to their many small suppliers, really have some explaining to do.”
Before an invoice is paid, the client needs to approve it. Most of the large companies that participate in Betaalme.nu therefore focus on the swift approval of invoices, to enable quicker payment of their suppliers. Submitting invoices electronically plays a major role, since this allows invoices to be processed more quickly and minimises the chance of delays caused by errors.
Vopak is 11th bluechip participant
Tank storage company Vopak is the 11th AEX-listed [bluechip] participant in Betaalme.nu. René van Tatenhove, Director Finance & Control at Vopak Netherlands, says: “Betaalme.nu is an initiative that Vopak is pleased to take part in. We will make sure that SMEs who work for Vopak and invoice correctly are paid within 30 days. This is a pleasant way of working for everyone and is good for entrepreneurial spirit in the Netherlands.”
“We see punctual payment as something that goes without saying, so we think it only logical that we join this initiative,” says Victor van Commenée, general director of payroll and employment agency Nedflex. “By supporting small and medium-sized companies financially like this, we contribute to a healthy economy, which in turn helps the job market grow. That supports our ambition to grow further in coming years, in a way that befits a socially responsible company. We urge other large companies to join this initiative, too.”
Effectiveness and decency
René van de Kieft, CEO of pension provider MN, says: “As a financial services provider, we occupy an important position between our clients and our suppliers, who are often from the SME sector. For these companies, it’s important to be able to focus on their core business, without having to worry about the timely payment of invoices. As the purchasing party, we play an important role in this. It’s not just about effective cooperation, but ultimately about common decency.”
Frank Koeken, general director of risk and insurance advisors Zicht, says: “We like all our invoices to be paid on time, so we must do that ourselves too. Our payment term is 30 days after the invoicing date. We urge our suppliers to do the same with their own suppliers. In this way we can all strengthen our strategic relationship.”
* Small suppliers with whom the participating large companies spend under €50,000 per year.
Betaalme.nu is a non-profit initiative that aims to improve SME suppliers’ access to liquidity, by unlocking capital that is tied up in outstanding invoices. The aim is to unlock €2.5 billion worth of extra liquidity with 500 of the largest companies in the Netherlands. Participants draw up a manifesto outlining how they will organise the processing of invoices to ensure their SME suppliers are paid more quickly. They also pledge to report regularly on their progress. Betaalme.nu, which was launched in November 2015, is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the form of subsidy.
Betaalme.nu participants are: HEINEKEN Nederland, Randstad, Jumbo, FrieslandCampina, KPN, NS, TomTom, Rabobank, ING, ABN Amro, PGGM, Schiphol, Havenbedrijf Amsterdam, ABP, APG, Cargill, Achmea, Enexis, Gasunie, Nederlandse Energiemaatschappij, ISS, Van Oers United, USG People, PostNL, Rijk Zwaan, Koninklijke Philips Nederland, Shell, ProRail, NAM, HVC, Wereldhave, de Gemeente Rotterdam, Olympia, Vion, Unilever Nederland, Basiq Dental, Van Lanschot, NIBC Bank, Royal Cosun, Intrum Justitia, the Kamer van Koophandel (KvK), asr, de Volksbank, SAP, Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg (WML), Vopak, MN, Nedflex, Zicht adviseurs and MKB-Nederland. The manifestos in which these organisations explain how they are putting their participation into practice can be found on the Betaalme.nu website.