Supplier survey finds confidence growing

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Nearly half of suppliers (47 percent) are extremely confident their customers will maintain their current purchasing volumes over the next six months.

That’s the principal finding of a new study, Economic and Supplier Outlook 2024: Balancing Growth, Geopolitical Risks, and Market Dynamics, conducted by PrimeRevenue. Over 300 companies were surveyed on business demands, their most significant business challenges, market outlook, and the state of supply chain payments.

Confidence in business demand is rising sharply. Only 10 percent of suppliers reported they were not confident their customers would maintain purchasing volumes over the next six months.

Cash flow and decreased market demand remain the top business challenges for suppliers. Of the business challenges specified, 33 percent of suppliers reported cash flow was their biggest anticipated challenge over the next six months, while 20 percent cited decreased market demand as their top concern. Interestingly, 18 percent of suppliers reported increased market demand to be their biggest anticipated business challenge.

Overall, most suppliers believe market conditions will not negatively impact their businesses in the immediate future. Supplier optimism is growing as fears of economic instability wane.

When asked what impact market conditions are expected to have on business over the next six months, nearly half of suppliers (49 percent) say their business will be positively impacted, while 33 percent expect they will not be impacted at all. Only 18 percent of suppliers anticipate a negative impact.

Suppliers place high importance on improving the efficacy of their AR processes. Improvements in three particular areas would be “very valuable” according to supplier feedback: visibility into customer invoice approvals (59 percent), certainty of on-time payment (67 percent), and reconciliation of payments to invoices and credit memos (60 percent).

“While the prevailing sentiment among suppliers is optimistic, a growing number of risks could threaten economic gains in 2024. Suppliers should remain vigilant and adaptable, given the unpredictability of future economic conditions. PrimeRevenue advises maintaining a focus on liquidity and resilience – a strategy we uphold for ourselves and advocate for all stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem,” said PJ Bain, CEO of PrimeRevenue.

A total of 720 suppliers from over 300 companies were surveyed.