Clarke Transport is a logistics business that was established in 1933. The company uses invoice finance to improve its cash flow because the long payment terms of customers can result in a funding gap that needs to be bridged.
By using invoice finance, when a company invoices their customer, up to 90% of the approved invoice total is immediately advanced by the finance provider, with the remaining 10% paid once their customer settles the balance. This provides the company with essential working capital so it can benefit from improved cash flow without having to wait for bills to be paid.
As Alan Swarbreck, Company Accountant, Clarke Transport explains: “Invoice finance is essential to our business and it’s a tool that we’ve used for many years to contribute to the growth and success of the company.”
Prior to working with Siemens Financial Services (SFS), the company was using the invoice finance services of a high street bank for approximately thirty years, but decided to change financiers.
Alan says: “We required a level of flexibility that the bank wasn’t prepared to provide. We were introduced to SFS and were impressed that the team proactively sought to understand our business and develop a solution that would help to meet our challenges.”
SFS tailored its offering specifically for Clarke by arranging a more competitive rate than the previous provider and building in a level of flexibility which means that a certain level of extra funds can be made available over a short term if needed in the future.
Clarke’s team were also impressed by the transition from their previous provider to SFS.
“SFS handled it all”, explains Alan. “They dealt directly with our previous provider and it went extremely smoothly, despite us having a large number of live accounts. Our customers only saw a change in account number – everything else remained the same for them.”
The company has found SFS’ Invoice Discounting system to be intuitive and transparent. Drawdown of funds only takes a matter of hours and SFS’ online system also gives real-time access to funding and payments.
Clarke has also found SFS’ knowledge of the sector valuable.
“It’s clear that the team have experience of working with companies in our industry”, says Alan. “And they have also come to know and understand our business and how we operate. The team are extremely approachable and knowledgeable and ready to help if we have a query.”
“We were reluctant to change at first, having been with our previous provider for several decades but our whole company is delighted we did, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend SFS to other businesses.”
Colin Grimshaw, Senior Relationship Manager – Invoice Finance UK, SFS adds: “Experience tells us that transport and haulage is a difficult sector; companies often operate within tight margins, for example. By applying our knowledge of the industry and tailoring the offering we are able to support this thriving family business as it continues to grow.”