WELL FORGED: HOW A STEEL ENTERPRISE BEAT THE CASH FLOW BLUES 


The business world was a different place seven years ago. Major industries and multinational companies took care of their suppliers on seven day payment terms, and banks were freer in their lending habits, providing unsecured lines of credit to enable businesses to prosper.


Ian Campbell, a co-owner of the Moss Vale-based steel fabrication business, Align Constructions and Engineering, remembers the onset of the global financial crisis as being a critical turning point for his business.

“Back in 2009 we were on seven day payment terms with our multinational clients, and these days that could be anywhere between 45 and 60 days,” Mr Campbell said.

His company – and many others like it - was then hit with the double whammy of a nervous banking sector.

“We had a $100,000 unsecured line of credit, but that was called in…these days they want you to lock up your house if you want a line of credit or an overdraft,” said Mr Campbell.

“Cash flow is critical for us to be able to pay our creditors and our wages. In our business, we can make a big upfront payment and then not get paid ourselves for months. That’s just the way of the multinationals now.”

After investigating all of their options, Align Constructions and Engineering discovered debtor finance, and is now a long-term customer of Apricity Finance.

“We just wouldn’t be able to exist without it. It allows us to pay our creditors and our wages on time – it takes the lumpiness out of our cash flow,” he said.

“The best thing about it is you don’t have to offer up your house as security. You’re not tied to it.

“It was a great decision for us. It allowed us to adapt to the market, and to continue on doing what we were doing.”