Bombardier reviews payment practices after watchdog criticism

16 June 2020

Bombardier Transportation UK has altered processes after the small business commissioner (SBC) criticised poor payment practices.

Bombardier agreed to review payment practices following a scathing report from the commissioner in February, and to provide evidence of the procedural changes.

SBC Philip King slammed Bombardier for “exploiting” its supply chain, failing to “continually follow their own procurement governance process”, and for being unable to reconcile invoices against purchase orders.

The commissioner has now said the company is using recommendations in his report to ensure enhanced communication of, and compliance with, its existing processes.

The commissioner said Zurich Insurance, which he had also criticised, had increased its efficiency by making 75% of payments electronically, with only 25% now being paid by cheque. It has also provided key points of contact within teams for supplier queries to prevent delays in payment.

King said that at this time of national crisis, it was imperative for large businesses to act responsibly and ensure obligations towards suppliers are fulfilled.

“Small businesses are vital to the UK economy and the SBC is committed to driving a culture change and ending unfavourable payment practices,” he said.

Will Tanner, director of communication at Bombardier, said that the report had been a useful tool to help review its payment practices. “We have taken action across the UK business to ensure we continue to comply with our existing practices and that these are communicated effectively,” he said.

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