08 July 2009 | Jenny Cartmell
IT firm Northgate Information Solutions (NIS) has standardised the time it takes to pay suppliers to 60 days, according to the Forum of Private Business.
The business group said NIS wrote to all its suppliers informing them of the change and giving them 10 days to object.
One NIS vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the new terms meant it would have to wait an additional 30 days for payment.
The FPB has written a letter of protest to the IT company warning it that poor payment processes can damage small businesses.
NIS did not respond to supplymanagement.com's request for comment, but told the FPB its own customers - including public sector clients - have extended the time they take to settle invoices because of cash flow problems. NIS vendors can choose not to accept the 60-day terms, it added.
FPB chief executive, Phil Orford said: "Although we can sympathise with the company's claim that it is not being paid on time by many of its public sector customers, it is disappointing that it is passing on these additional costs to its small suppliers."
Northgate is the second company in the past seven days to enter the FPB's late payment "hall of shame", after construction firm Rok doubled its terms from 30 to 60 days (Web news, 6 July).