Supply Chain Finance

Work Team


The Supply Chain Finance Observatory of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano was established in 2013 to address the increasing interest of companies and public authorities in the possibilities offered by supply chain finance solutions to optimise their working capital and access to credit. By supply chain finance, we mean the set of models, solutions and services that can be used to optimise financial performance - especially in terms of controlling working capital - and which exploit knowledge gained from managing supply chain relationships. The aim of the Observatory is to generate and share knowledge about supply chain finance, and so contribute towards these solutions across the Italian market, to the benefit of all players, and stimulate debate and dialogue by creating a community of C-level executives.


The Observatory’s work consists of:

  • analysing companies that adopt supply chain financing solutions and/or services developed through potentially interesting cases in Italy and the rest of Europe;
  • analysing the benefits of supply chains finance by developing quantitative models to estimate the benefits of the main SCF solutions;
  • analysing the companies that form the “offer” of supply chain finance solutions and/or services, monitoring the main players that operate in the European landscape and analysing their business models;
  • organising closed door meetings between researchers, C-level executives on the Observatory Board, partners and sponsors. Research work will be planned and monitored during these meetings, while, at the same time, establishing a solid network between all parties interested in the subject of supply chain finance;
  • organising a public convention to present the findings of the research, which will be attended by distinguished guests and the C-level executives on the Observatory Advisory Board;
  • organising a local workshop in the area where the findings of the research are presented, to be attended by distinguished guests and the C-level executives on the Observatory Advisory Board;


The Observatory is part of the International Supply Chain Finance Community (www.scfcommunity.com), a body that promotes and shares knowledge on the topic of supply chain finance at a primarily European level.




To conduct analysis and research that help companies, from both supply and demand sides, and Italian public authorities to examine the issue of supply chain financing critically (fields of application, technologies, international benchmarks, value chain, analysis of user companies, legislation, etc.).


To organise events so that the main players in this field and Observatory Advisory Board directors can meet and debate on these topics. To take part in matters concerning the International Supply Chain Finance Community.


To create a culture and spread knowledge on the concept and solutions of supply chain finance within companies in the sector and among potential users (private and public organisations).


To learn about the technical and legal aspects concerning the world of supply chain finance. To learn about the structure, relationships and features of specific supply chains.


In line with our objective of developing a culture on supply chain finance, research is conducted along three principle threads:


  • The solutions of supply chain finance, with particular focus on the most innovative aspects, in order to gain an understanding of costs, benefits and fields of application of excellence;
  • Financial profiling for the supply chains. Starting from a clear understanding of the basic framework of supply chains and then focusing on the major chains in Italy, we will develop a number of descriptive models for performance and financial needs that are able to measure a company’s digital and financial “health” and identify any potential links between active projects of collaboration among supply chains and the financial world.
  • Credit risk assessment tools, that are able to gather supply chain information and exploit the potential of digital innovation.


Alongside these main threads, we will also address two major topics that run across the whole sector:

  • international benchmarking for the main supply chain finance solutions;
  • the monitoring of legislative and regulatory aspects.


Our overriding objective remains that of stimulating debate and dialogue on topics relating to supply chain finance, through a community of C-level executives (which form an integral part of the Advisory Board).


Infographics 1
Infographics 10.03.2016

Supply Chain Finance: what's up in Italy?

Supply Chain Finance Observatory

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For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Supply Chain Finance Observatory, please contact Claudia Cervatti (email: claudia.cervatti@polimi.it).