An Eye To The Future

With 2017 stretching out before us and a reinvigorated Oxygen team returning to work this January, keen to seize the challenges of the new year with both hands, we thought it worth taking a brief look back on the successes of 2016 as we turn to the road ahead.

Without question, this has been the most exciting year in Oxygen’s and our clients’ stories so far.

February brought a change in ownership- the strategic acquisition by Arrowgrass Capital Partners LLP and the capitalisation of the Oxygen businesses giving us the secure footing and springboard needed to invest for the longer term and enable accelerated development in what has certainly proven to be a growth marketplace.

This investment came firstly in the form of a cohort of new team members, all bringing their individual talents to the already impressive Oxygen pool- in particular the Technology and Business Development teams have seen a substantial boost, as well as our Service Management function, as we respond to our constantly growing customer base.

In the summer, we announced the next stage of our expansion, with the opening of a new HQ in the Midlands- an obvious location for a business that has clients the length and breadth of the UK that we serve on a daily basis. This base is complemented by resources based in London, Manchester and Scotland.

Having started the year with nearly a dozen clients live and transacting early payment for their and their suppliers’ mutual benefit, the demand in the market for Oxygen’s services has been exciting to see, resulting in us bringing on a similar number of new clients in 2016 alone. This has certainly cemented our position as market leader, a position which is underscored by the impressive financial results being achieved:

  • Across our mature client’s programmes, councils are typically each seeing upwards of £50,000 of early payment rebates generated every month
  • Our thousands of participating suppliers are correspondingly benefitting to the tune of tens of millions of pounds of liquidity
  • Spend running across our network now exceeds £4 billion

For those of us who’ve been with the business since we first came to market, 2016 has seen the fulfilment potential that we recognised from the start and 2017 promises to be more exciting still.

We thank our clients and partners for your help in making 2016 such a success and look forward to building on this as we press on into 2017.


New Case Study: Generating a new income stream for Cumbria County Council

Oxygen have been working hand in hand with Cumbria Council to implement and operate the Premier Supply Service (PSS) since early 2014 and the programme continues to be a great success for the council and its suppliers. The council set a target to generate an income of £400,000 in this financial year and are comfortably exceeding this. With hundreds of suppliers participating, across more than £80 million of annual spend, more suppliers are enquiring each day about signing up.

Cumbria decided that Oxygen’s solution offered the opportunity they were looking for, to support their income generation aspirations in difficult economic times and to improve their P2P processes, while offering suppliers the opportunity to receive faster payment of their invoices. In addition to early payment, participating suppliers also benefit from:

  • Increased process efficiency via e-invoicing
  • Dedicated processing and query resolution
  • Closer collaboration and an integrated long-term relationship
  • Enhanced client satisfaction and increased visibility within the Council

Key to such high uptake has been the support for the programme from senior council staff and the skills and resources available within Oxygen’s Supplier Onboarding team, who leveraged our suite of tried and tested sales and marketing assets to engage with suppliers by phone, email and in person. These assets included a microsite, explaining the benefits to suppliers, a video from the Chief Executive articulating the importance of the PSS and a brochure that explained in detail how the programme would mutually benefit the council and suppliers.

Click on the image below to read our new Case Study to find out what the Council and participating suppliers have to say about the programme.


Come and meet Oxygen at CIPFA Wales conference on 24th Nov

On Thursday 24th November we will be travelling over to sunny Cardiff for the annual CIPFA Wales conference and dinner. The conference will be held in the Park Plaza Hotel, and you can meet us at Stand 8, to find out how the Oxygen early payment solution can generate your council an incremental new income stream in these difficult financial times.

Oxygen’s progress

This year we have continued to consolidate our position as the premier provider of early payment solutions to UK local authorities, which now sees us with live clients the length and breadth of the country. Meanwhile, the results being realised by Oxygen clients also continue to surpass all previous records, with our more mature clients earning £50k a month in new income.

Our live programmes have been experiencing;

  • Higher rebate levels being established than ever before
  • Further advances in payment acceleration to suppliers
  • More value delivered to suppliers, with over 1,000 suppliers receiving the benefits of early payment and improved cash flow

Read our client case studies here or visit http://www.cipfa.org/training/cipfa-wales-annual-conference for more information on the event, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)800 086 8395 for more information.


Introducing Rob Parker

This week we’re saying hello to one of our newest members here at Oxygen Finance: Rob Parker, our Software Development Manager.

Rob is responsible for managing the development and maintenance of the Oxygen Finance systems. This includes working with the business to build requirements, working with the development team and ensuring the systems are aligned with business growth.

Rob has a strong background within in the software sector. Having studied Computer Science at University of Manchester, Rob then moved to Birmingham to work up towards Consultant Software Architect at Software Solutions Partners. During this position, Rob was responsible for system and solution architecture with a number of global clients on multi-million pound projects, providing him with strong experience of working with a global team and a global customer base.

Following this, Rob took up the role of Technical Director at Tech13 Ltd, which involved engineering a financial case-management application which was primarily used in the PPI reclaim space. As a co-founder of the business, Rob was able to experience first hand small business financial management and was responsible for both the software they created and client management.

Making use of these skills, Rob then moved to iForce Ltd, where he took on the position of Software Development Manager. During his time at iForce, he played a key role in turning the business from a logistics firm into a software house. His responsibilities included building a new development team, and creating scalable, reliable architecture and systems which align with the business. At the time of leaving iForce, their systems were processing more transactions through the SaaS model than for the internal business.

It is the combination of these experiences that Rob now brings to Oxygen; with experience of aligning software and commercial understanding, Rob is well placed to understand how best to provide a client with the IT solutions to help improve their efficiency and operations.

Outside of work, Rob has travelled extensively around the world, taking on the world’s highest bungee jump, white water rafting on three continents, and has even eaten McDonalds in 15 different countries.


Implementing an early payment programme: should you go it alone?

With ongoing government cuts, councils are increasingly recognising the opportunities available to them from implementing an early payment programme and Heads of Procurement are being asked to evaluate whether to draw on the expertise of an outside provider or rely on internal resource.

Procurement heavyweight Terry Brewer has evaluated in detail the viability of implementing an early payment programme both through a self-build route and by partnering with a specialist early payment provider. Here Terry offers his own valuable insights into 6 key considerations that councils face when making this choice.

A focus on value

In its simplest form, an early payment programme is just a means to capture the early payment discounts or rebates already being offered proactively by your suppliers. But there’s a lot more on the table…

  • Streamlining purchase-to-pay (P2P) makes councils more efficient and reduces the risk of late payment penalties under updated legislation. Done alongside an early payment programme, this offers an opportunity to expand the level of rebates that can be generated, by accelerating invoice approval times without forgoing control
  • But why stop there? We all know that cash is king for your supply chain and hundreds of your suppliers would value early payment. Proactively engaging with suppliers to offer early payment across your supply chain yields a step change in the level of rebates that the council can realise and maximises social value creation
  • Manual calculations can be onerous, even when reconciling a low volume of early payment rebates. Leveraging technology to automate and manage the rebate process can both free up staff time and deliver valuable insight into P2P performance that supercharges the drive for process improvement

Click on the image below to read more.


Oxygen welcomes two Digital Marketing experts for new office in Birmingham

With the upcoming opening of our new Birmingham office, Oxygen has welcomed two additional members to the team – Michael Hawkins and Liam Topham.

Hailing from the nearby city of Coventry, Michael joins the team as Digital Marketing Executive. Drawing on his extensive experience in digital marketing and data analysis, Michael is responsible for creating marketing campaigns to attract tier two and three clients, data cleansing and SEO for Oxygen’s website.

As a self-confessed data geek, Michael has worked in numerous roles that have allowed him to hone the ability to collect, analyse and use data to improve business functions, a skill he is keen to apply to Oxygen’s clients.

Previously, Michael was based at Coventry University where he took on the role of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Data Analyst, leading on all SEO activity, as well as monitoring and reporting on a wide range of campaigns run by the University.

Before this, Michael was the CRM and Web Executive for The Hotel Collection in Hinckley, where he was responsible for planning long term marketing campaigns and creating web content and copy. Alongside these creative aspects, Michael also carried out data cleansing and statistical analysis to understand customers and clients, including geographical mapping and SEO.

In his spare time, Michael has visited over a hundred and fifty castles, including Neuschwanstein in Bavaria (better known as the setting for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and Bran Castle in Transylvania, with the less wholesome claim to fame as the home of Vlad the Impaler.

Our next new member, Liam, also holds the role of Digital Marketing Executive, bringing his experience of customer relations management, digital marketing systems and graphic design to Oxygen. As part of the supplier onboarding team, Liam’s main role is to execute digital campaigns aimed at tier two and three suppliers introducing them to Oxygen’s early payment scheme, building and updating Oxygen’s websites and microsites as well as graphic design.

Alongside this, Liam uses his digital design and management skills to maintain Oxygen’s website, support the marketing team with design requests and provide support to the Supplier Onboarding team.

Before joining Oxygen, Liam was based at SSP Limited, taking on the role of Marketing Associate. This position saw Liam taking responsibility for the execution of fully integrated marketing campaigns directed at insurers, insurance brokers and financial advisers, as well as managing both the Marketing Automation system and the CRM System. Liam was also able to exercise his creative abilities through the graphic design of banners, brochures and campaign collateral.

Prior to this role, Liam was Customer Service Adviser at The Office Trading Company, gaining extensive experience of helping to deliver client-focused solutions and email campaign management.

Outside of Oxygen, Liam is a real animal lover and enjoys the opportunity to interact with animals in their natural environment. Never afraid of a close encounter, he has swum with dolphins, cuddled meerkats and spent some quality time with a Caracal (not for the faint-hearted!).


Report on the LGA and CIPFA conferences


This month Oxygen attended both the Local Government Association Conference in Bournemouth for three days and the annual CIPFA conference in Manchester for two days. Both these events gave council members and officers first hand access to the Oxygen early payment specialists, who could help them to understand the scope for councils to implement the Oxygen solution.

Council members attending the LGA conference showed particular interest in the way an Oxygen early payment programme could support the council’s supply base, particularly local business rate paying firms, while simultaneously increasing the efficiency and effectiveness with which councils operate.

In contrast, Finance officers attending the CIPFA conference focussed far more on the benefits to councils from the creation of a new income stream in the form of early payment rebates, together with reducing their financial risk in the form of late payment, with the associated interest and fees- and the adverse disclosure that this will mean from February 2017.

The LGA is the biggest event in the local government calendar and regularly attracts over 1,200 delegates from the Public Sector. Oxygen have attended for the past four years and we have always found the event very beneficial, giving the team an opportunity to meet up with many of our clients as well as to showcase the excellent results we’re seeing from councils’ Oxygen programmes nationwide.

Lewis Mitchell commented “We found the LGA to be a fantastic event to network with existing and prospective customers and introduce councils to the wealth of benefits Oxygen can provide. We’re pleased to see an increase in our brand recognition, with senior council officers and members approaching us to find out more about our success with current clients. On the Wednesday evening we held a reception at the Eden bar in Bournemouth, with upwards of 50 delegates joining us to discuss accelerating payments to suppliers, while enjoying the Euro 2016 semi-final match.”

The annual CIPFA conference at the Manchester Central Convention Centre was another key event in our calendar, with over 800 public finance and accountancy professionals in attendance from across all public services. The conference provides delegates with a chance to gain in-depth insight and analysis, explore challenges and suggest solutions to the most pressing issues facing us all in the post-Brexit world.

Oxygen took a stand in the main Exhibition Hall and it gave the team the chance to meet with a large number of Local Authority Finance Directors and their teams during the two days.

Simon Whittle commented “CIPFA is one of our key partners and we’ve attended many of their events. The annual conference is on a bigger scale and it was very worthwhile for us to have a strong presence. We will certainly continue to attend future conferences as it provides us with the opportunity to meet with key contacts at existing and prospect Local Authorities from across the UK.”






Improve your Environmental Credentials with Oxygen Finance

Oxygen Finance are always looking at ways in which we can reduce our clients’ carbon footprints as well as our own. Our cloud based rebate solution with eInvoicing can help towards your organisation’s green credentials. With the use of eInvoicing there is less of a requirement for paper invoices which is significantly better for the environment and also saves money and time, which optimises your supply chain.

It is estimated to take 12 million trees to create the 30 billion invoices that are sent in Europe each year. Removing these paper invoices, suggests the EU, will remove three million tonnes of CO2 from the environment. Sustainability is one of the EU’s key reasons for promoting eInvoicing to all businesses across Europe and we at Oxygen are 100% backing this plan to become paperless.

The SMART 2020 Report highlighted the smart use of technology to dematerialise, replace physical processes with electronic ones, as a key way to reduce the CO2 emissions of business in general. eInvoicing is a simple and logical step in this direction.

We have already implemented eInvoicing to many of our existing clients with our cloud based rebate solution and our clients are experiencing the following benefits:

  • Faster retrieval of money from customers by reducing the time an invoice or payment is in the post
  • Reduced printing and postage costs
  • Quicker and cheaper processing as the information in electronic invoices can be fed directly into a company’s payment and accounting systems
  • Lower storage costs
  • Decrease in errors due to manual recycling of data
  • Reduced opportunity for fraud and therefore increase in compliance
  • Reduced training and system development costs

Oxygen Finance to attend Annual CIPFA Conference on 13th & 14th July 2016

Next month is a busy month for our team, we have two of our favourite events in our calendar, the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth and the CIPFA conference at Manchester Central’s International Convention Centre.

The CIPFA conference will focus on how public services need to become more commercial and productive to ensure long-term growth and regeneration, which is definitely something the Oxygen early payment solution can help with.

There will be a forum environment to hear from leading professionals, thought leaders and speakers from across the whole public sector, who will share their knowledge in a series of plenary sessions and practical insight in a programme of workshops.

We will be at Stand 36 for the duration of the conference and it would be great to meet you there for a coffee and to talk you through our tried and tested early payment solution that we’ve rolled out to leading Local Authorities nationwide, from Aberdeen to West Sussex and Croydon to South Tyneside.

Please call us on +44 (0)161 785 4658 if you are interested in arranging a meeting at the conference or email Simon.Whittle@oxygen-finance.com



A Case Study on South Tyneside Council’s Supplier Incentive Programme

South Tyneside Council spends more than £125m every year with over 3,000 suppliers who help the Council to provide a wide range of key services – from school and library materials and health and wellbeing services to highways maintenance and waste disposal.

One of the ways the Council is working to ensure best value for money is through the introduction of Oxygen’s Supplier Incentive Programme which has already attracted many suppliers, with invoices approaching £30m signed up to receive early payment in the first year.

The initiative represents a new level of collaboration between the Council and its supply chain, providing mutual benefits for both the Council and businesses, with suppliers having their invoices fast tracked in exchange for a small rebate.

The early payment programme offers a win-win for both the council and the suppliers.

Benefits to the Council

  • New predictable income & savings
  • Adhere to government legislation
  • Improve corporate social responsibility
  • Purchase-To-Pay efficiencies & reduced cost

Benefits to Suppliers

  • Optimise working capital
  • Replicated down each tier of the supply chain
  • Improved working relationship
  • Hands free, fully automated cash acceleration

Click on the Case Study below to read what senior Council Leaders and Suppliers signed up to the programme have to say about the benefits of the Supplier Incentive Programme.

Case Study Image

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