Challenge

The initial funding challenge in 2004 was a typical one for a growing business reliant on traditional overdraft and loan arrangements to provide the necessary working capital.

With a mixture of employed and contract staff to pay, billing after the provision of consultancy  and then waiting for clients to settle invoices required a more flexible approach to bridge the cashflow gap that inevitably widens as turnover increases.

Moving forward, as the business grew they faced additional financial challenges including the provision of services to overseas markets. This required a rethink of how some aspects of the product range were delivered.

With large scale enquiries coming from equally large companies the traditional classroom and on site approach, although still key, needed a change in some areas. These new enquires also presented challenges around the geographical delivery alongside the difficulties some clients had in releasing large numbers of staff to attend Programme events.

To address these needs the business set about developing and implementing Technology Enabled Coaching (TEC) in order to provide online training, supported by high impact safety coaching at the point of risk. However, such a project required funding over and above normal working capital availability.         

Solution

The Receivables Finance facility originally put in place provides early payment of Setters customer invoices. The funding released (within 24 hours of an invoice being raised) provides a flexible flow of working capital to cover wages and contractor payments, plus other day to day expenses, without having to wait for customers to settle invoices.

The funding solution also provides a professional credit control service and Bad Debt Protection which was subsequently extended to include export sales when they arose to protect the business against potential late and non-payments.

Additional funding for the TEC project came by way of an Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan, which meant that working capital wasn’t affected.

Results

Gareth Jones, of Setter & Associates Ltd, is very happy to emphasise the fact that ABN AMRO Commercial Finance have been there to provide support at each stage of growth avoiding the need to seek different funders for different aspects of the business.

He also noted the:

“high levels of transparency in all dealings, with facilities and documentation explained very clearly including any renewal processes. Initial concerns about handing credit control over to a third party were also allayed with very good relationships with a dedicated credit controller who takes the time to get to know the customers”.

For any business seeking a highly professional and flexible funding partner Gareth has in the past, and is happy to continue, to formally recommend ABN AMRO.