During this year’s SFNet annual convention that took place virtually from November 17-19, John Stillwaggon, CEO of Tradewind Americas, participated in a panel titled, “Disruption in Supply Chains & Mitigating Risks”. The event was moderated by King Trade Capital, and Mr. Stillwaggon was joined by other panelists from Franklin Capital Network, Demica, and Wells Fargo Commercial Capital.
The session explored the biggest disruptions to supply chains brought on by the pandemic, including delays and halts in orders. Mr. Stillwaggon relayed his experiences on how Tradewind’s clients fared with the economic upheaval. Some experienced pronounced difficulty who were already suffering from trade wars. Additionally, he reported that some retailers supported their supply chains, while others did not.
On the other end, there were clients who pursued new opportunities that arose from the pandemic, like in the food sector. Businesses who had diversification in their sales portfolio were able to pivot from supplying to restaurants to supplying to supermarkets, for example.
The panel provided other insights on the pandemic’s effects. One trend mentioned was that goods are being transported by air freight instead of by ships. In terms of industry successes, the panelist from the company Demica noted that three sectors represented 50% of sales during Covid: computers, durables, and transportation. He also declared that “technology is the standout winner of the Covid-19 world”. Conversely, heavy industry was badly impacted but is now showing some signs of recovery. It was also reported that chemicals and primary metals are either stressed or distressed.
The panel ended with an outlook on what 2021 will bring. The panel proposed that there may be greater partnering between banks and non-banks, as well as a greater use of technology since there is an abundance of data available.
Mr. Stillwaggon expressed that SMEs are nimble enough to find opportunities, and larger buyers will continue to ask for longer payment terms, which Tradewind Finance can support.