factoring, invoice discounting, key performance indicator (KPI), Common Assessment Framework (CAF), financial service provider, logistic services provider, FLUID-WIN
Globalisation is pushing industries to act as world wide global players. Industries buy and sell all over the world. Supply chains today are complex networks where members are heterogeneous (companies of several industrial sectors such as manufacturing, finance and logistics). These complex networks have to perform as a unique body; therefore, they need to be perfectly synchronised. In order to ensure continuous process monitoring and transparency, as well as accurate information flows, it is necessary to extend the electronic business relationship between manufacturers and their suppliers (B2B applications) towards those service providers, whose activities affect the quality of cooperation between business partners.  The FLUID-WIN research project targets business-to-business (B2B) manufacturing networks and their interactions with the logistics and financial service providers (FSP). The FLUID-WIN platform ensures the seamless integration of 3rd party service providers with their manufacturing networks, based on easy-to-use electronic services, with the innovative B2(B2B) approach. FLUID-WIN research project aims to develop a platform which can seamlessly integrate and transfer data among all the various partners in order to enhance the competitiveness of the whole business sector in Europe and to make the business processes as efficient as possible. The European market is becoming more and more agile regarding trade finance services used by the SMEs operating in Europe. However, only a small percentage of companies use factoring and invoice discounting in order to alleviate their cash-flow difficulties. In recent years, the factoring as the alternative form of business financing becomes more and more popular. The aim of the paper is to give some information about the FLUID-WIN research project in relation to factoring and invoice discounting. These services are offered mainly by banks or by subsidiary corporations of banks, perhaps even by specialized companies called factoring houses. Factoring and invoice discounting utilization bring many advantages to entrepreneurs. Primarily, it is the possibility to obtain the financial resources before maturity of a claim.