B2B Payments

Tradeshift’s Shift Down Under

Tradeshift aims to connect businesses globally, with an eye on its own expansion. Here’s why the firm has just opened operations in Sydney and New Zealand, where economies and supply chains are growing nicely, according to CMO John Eng and Regional Sales Director Charles Thackwell.

Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks. The answer came back that “that’s where the money is.”

In business, you go where the business is. And if you are a company that works within trade and finance, you go where the trade and finance capabilities are needed, geographically speaking.

With the recent announcement by Tradeshift that the firm would be expanding its operations into Australia and New Zealand, the firm has brought its strategy to bear on a region that serves as a springboard to growth for its own clients in their pursuit of expanded supply chains and also proximity to Asia.

In an interview with PYMNTS, CMO John Eng and Regional Sales Director Charles Thackwell said that those two countries represent a logical progression for the firm. Thackwell noted that there are hundreds of companies in the region in the midst of seeing growth across several sectors.

Both executives said that Australia and New Zealand emerged relatively well-positioned from the financial crisis of a few years ago, with government and trade policies supportive of business expansion. And those firms are looking to Asia (such as Japan and China) as areas for growth (and, in some cases, new markets).

The fact remains, said Eng, that the need for digital initiatives down the supply chain remains strong. Eng noted that, in the mid-market, firms are ready to look with enthusiasm at technology and “spend money on … procurement departments” and use technology out in the field, such as mobile phones and smart devices.

The growth of the supply chain and globalization in general means that New Zealand and Australia (now with a two-person Tradeshift office, though that might scale eventually as needed) can be viewed as a type of hub for several industries. But those industries need to connect the disparate and far-flung thousands of suppliers through eInvoicing and supply chain finance. Australia has a national standard in place for eInvoicing.

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