Supply Chain Finance and Blockchain Technology

While supply chain finance programs have been around for years, solutions available today have begun to see heightened attention in the business environment as working capital and risk management take on greater importance for firms. Due to the increased interest and demand, the supply chain finance industry is undergoing a period of rapid growth. However, a problem this rapid growth has created is a lack of awareness for corporate practitioners, many of whom have been unable to keep up with the evolution occurring in the space.

The elevated need and interest about supply chain finance technology, coupled with its rapid growth and evolution, has highlighted a clear need for resources that provide a thorough analysis of the theories and practices as they exist today. This course is decidedly a mixed pool of theory concepts, application tools, simulation games and case studies from diverse, yet interconnected worlds. Among the topics explored are working capital management, inventory financing, trade credit, factoring and reverse factoring, supply chain finance instruments, fintech innovation, blockchain technology and implications, crowdfunding and ICOs.

Objectives of this course include: 

  • Appreciate the language of finance, including key terms, concepts, tools, techniques, and applications.

  • Understand how to use financial tools and techniques to support better supply chain decision making.

  • Understand how supply chain initiatives affect corporate performance indicators.

  • Develop professional capabilities through the application of new knowledge.

Course Syllabus
  • Lecture: Supply Chain Structure and the Relevance of Supply Chain Finance

       -- Teaching Note: Supply Chain Finance, its Practical Relevance and Strategic Value

  • Lecture: Introduction to Corporate Finance Basics​​

       -- Teaching Note: Financial Statement Analysis, Capital Structure, Debt and Taxes, Financial Distress, etc.

  • Lecture: The Cool Connection (TCC) Simulation

       -- Teaching Note: Brief Introduction, Business Partners Details, Game Configuration, Strategy Debrief

  • Lecture: Working Capital Management in Supply Chains

       -- Teaching Note: Unlocking the Potential of Supply Chain Working Capital Finance


  • Lecture: Financial Perspective of Inventory Management

       -- Case Study: US Steel Corp

  • Lecture: Integrated Risk Management: Operational and Financial Hedging

       -- Case Study: Noble Group

  • Lecture: Trade Credit in Supply Chains

       -- Case Study: The Use of Trade Credit by Businesses, Reserve Bank of Australia, 2013

  • Lecture: Supply Chain Finance Instruments: Factoring, Reverse Factoring, Dynamic Discounting

       -- Case Study: Supply Chain Finance at P&G; Nestle Russia LLC


  • Lecture: Blockchain's Implications for Supply Chain Management

       -- Case Study: Blockchain Use Cases in Food Supply Chains (Provenance); Supply Chain Finance (Skuchain, TradeIX)


  • Lecture: Crowdfunding, Initial Coin Offerings and The Token Economy

       -- Case Study: What Initial Coin Offerings Are, and Why VC Firms Care. HBR, 2017.

Reading List

Supply Chain Finance:

  •  Trent, R.J., 2016. Supply Chain Financial Management: Best Practices, Tools, and Applications for Improved Performance.

  • Hofmann, E. and O. Belin, 2011. Supply Chain Finance Solutions - Relevance, Propositions, Market Value.

  • de Boer, R., Steeman, M. and van Bergen, M., 2015. Supply Chain Finance, Its Practical Relevance and Strategic Value.

  • The Global Supply Chain Finance Forum, 2016. Standard Definitions for Techniques of Supply Chain Finance.

  • Strategic Treasurer, 2017. Supply Chain Finance Technology Solutions Analyst Report.

  • Fernandes, R. and Ellram, L. 2017. Unlocking the Potential of Supply Chain Working Capital Finance. Supply Chain Management Review.

  • Berk, J.B. and DeMarzo, P.M., 2013. Corporate Finance (3rd Edition). Pearson Education.

FinTech and Blockchain:

  • Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A. and Goldfeder, S., 2016. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies: A Comprehensive Introduction. Princeton University Press.

  • Berentsen, A. and Schar, F., 2018. A Short Introduction to The World of Cryptocurrencies.

  • Global Trade Review, 2016. The Role of Fintech in Trade Finance.

  • Iansiti, M. and Lakhani, K.R., 2017. The Truth About Blockchain. Harvard Business Review.

  • Kastelein, R., 2017. What Initial Coin Offerings Are, and Why VC Firms Care. Harvard Business Review.

  • Hofmann, E., Strewe, U.M. and Bosia, N., 2017. Supply Chain Finance and Blockchain Technology: The Case of Reverse Securitisation.

  • CB Insights, 2018. Fintech Trends to Watch in 2018.