Your worst business nightmare just occurred. You got the order/contract! Now what?!
Purchase order financing is a great tool for firms that have unusual purchase order and contract sales financing needs but are potentially unable to access traditional financing via banks or their own capital resources within their firm. How does trade finance P O financing work, does your firm qualify, what are the costs, and how does it work? Great questions, now let’s explore some answers!
Typically Canadian firms looking for this type of financing are distributors, manufacturers, or perhaps wholesalers. A variety of industries in Canada have access to this type of financing, but those certainly tend to be the typical firms needing assistance.
Your need for purchase order financing arises out of what we call the classic working capital gap. What do we mean by that? It’s a case of your suppliers requiring payment either up front or within 30 days, with your firm unable to generate those funds for payment and therefore unable to fill large purchase order and contracts in your favor. Your supplier is asking your for payment in advance or 30 days, and you wont receive payment for at least 60-90 days, perhaps more depending on your build cycle, etc.
Naturally you don’t want to turn down orders or lose competitive market position.
The obvious solution for low cost large amounts of funds are Canadian chartered banks, but our observation is that many firms simply cant satisfy the banks requirements for this type of financing to occur. If your firm is growing, profitable, has a clean balance sheet and strong historical cash flows and history you of course have a solid chance of meeting bank requirements, however that typically is not the case, certainly in the amount of clients we talk to who are looking for alternatives to their growth challenge!
When you access p o financing you can have comfort that your suppliers will be paid, and at the same time you generally have access to all the funds you need. Typical purchase order financing applications take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to complete and involve basic financial due diligence on your firms ability to fulfill the order, who your customer is (they must be credit worthy), and your proper supplier sources must be identified and vetted. It’s as simple as that.
So what are the basic pre requisites for a solid P.O. Financing deal? Naturally your company must be in possession of a contract or order that is not cancelable by your client. The P O finance firm arranges to pay your suppliers directly, that alleviates all you cash flow and working capital concerns. The transaction is completed when you ship the goods and your receivables are generated on the sale. It is at this time the purchase order finance firm expects to be paid, and this is traditionally handled by your firms monetizing of its receivable via a bank or factoring facility. Factoring facilities are great partners to the P O financing strategy, because use of them guarantees payment to your P O firm.
Let’s cover off a couple tips and secrets around the cost of purchase order financing – It generally is in the 2-3% per month range in Canada, and that means you have to have solid gross profit margins in order to be able to sustain the finance charges. But let’s be honest, let’s say your firm has been doing 750k of revenue for the last couple years and you finally get the large order from a major customer for 1 Million dollars. Wouldn’t you give up 2-3 % of your profit margin in order to make one sale which is the equivalent of your entire year’s business? We think you should positively consider that! Clearly the higher cost of this type of financing covers off the complexity and risk that the P O finance firm takes in paying for goods, waiting to get paid, and having the belief that your firm will fulfill the contract order.
It has been our observation with certain clients that your successful completion of a purchase order finance deal typically significantly enhances your relationship with your major suppliers and of course customers, that’s a secret benefit that is intangible but invaluable at the same time.
Is P O financing for everyone. Maybe not. Could it be possibly the solution to major working capital needs if your business is growing and can’t be financed traditionally – we certainly think so? Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced purchase order finance expert to explore your options.
Your worst business nightmare has just come true – you got the order and contract! Now what though? How can Canadian business survive financing adversity when your firm is unable to traditionally finance large new orders and ongoing growth?
The answer is P O factoring and the ability to access inventory financing lenders when you need them! Let’s look at real world examples of how our clients achieve business financing success, getting the type of financing need to acquire new orders and the products to fulfill them.
Here’s your best solution – call your banker and let him know you need immediate bulge financing that quadruples your current financing requirements, because you have to satisfy new large orders. Ok… we’ll give you time to pick yourself up off the chair and stop laughing.
Seriously though…we all know that the majority of small and medium sized corporations in Canada can’t access the business credit they need to solve the dilemma of acquiring and financing inventory to fulfill customer demand.
So is all lost – definitely not. You can access purchase order financing through independent finance firms in Canada – you just need to get some assistance in navigating the minefield of whom, how, where, and when.
Large new orders challenge your ability to satisfy them based on how your company is financed. That’s why P O factoring is a probably solution. It’s a transaction solution that can be one time or ongoing, allowing you to finance purchase orders for large or sudden sales opportunities. Funds are used to finance the cost of buying or manufacturing inventory until you can generate product and invoice your clients.
Are inventory financing lenders the perfect solution for every firm. No financing ever is, but more often than not it will get you the cash flow and working capital you need.
P O factoring is a very stand alone and defined process. Let’s examine how it works and how you can take advantage of it.
The key aspects of such a financing are a clean defined purchase order from your customer who must be a credit worthy type customer. P O Factoring can be done with your Canadian customers, U.S. customers, or foreign customers.
PO financing has your supplier being paid in advance for the product you need. The inventory and receivable that comes out of that transaction are collateralized by the finance firm. When your invoice is generated the invoice is financed, thereby clearing the transaction. So you have essentially had your inventory paid for, billed your product, and when your customer pays, the transaction is closed.
P O factoring and inventory financing in Canada is a more expensive form of financing. You need to demonstrate that you have solid gross margins that will absorb an additional 2-3% per month of financing cost. If your cost structure allows you to do that and you have good marketable product and good orders you’re a perfect candidate for p o factoring from inventory financing lenders in Canada.
Don’t want to navigate that maze by yourself? Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can ensure you maximize the benefits of this growing and more popular business credit financing model.
It’s time. We’re talking about purchase order finance in Canada, how P O finance works, and how financing inventory and contracts under those purchase orders really works in Canada. And yes, as we said, its time… to get creative with your financing challenges, and we’ll demonstrate how.
And as a starter, being second never really counts, so Canadian business needs to be aware that your competitors are utilizing creative financing and inventory options for the growth and sales and profits, so why shouldn’t your firm?
Canadian business owners and financial managers know that you can have all the new orders and contracts in the world, but if you can’t finance them properly then you’re generally fighting a losing battle to your competitors.
The reason purchase order financing is rising in popularity generally stems from the fact that traditional financing via Canadian banks for inventory and purchase orders is exceptionally, in our opinion, difficult to finance. Where the banks say no is where purchase order financing begins!
It’s important for us to clarify to clients that P O finance is a general concept that might in fact include the financing of the order or contract, the inventory that might be required to fulfill the contract, and the receivable that is generated out of that sale. So it’s clearly an all encompassing strategy.
The additional beauty of P O finance is simply that it gets creative, unlike many traditional types of financing that are routine and formulaic.
It’s all about sitting down with your P O financing partner and discussing how unique your particular needs are. Typically when we sit down with clients this type of financing revolves around the requirements of the supplier, as well as your firm’s customer, and how both of these requirements can be met with timelines and financial guidelines that make sense for all parties.
The key elements of a successful P O finance transaction are a solid non cancelable order, a qualified customer from a credit worth perspective, and specific identification around who pays who and when. It’s as simple as that.
So how does all this work, asks our clients.Lets keep it simple so we can clearly demonstrate the power of this type of financing. Your firm receives an order. The P O financing firm pays your supplier via a cash or letter of credit – with your firm then receiving the goods and fulfilling the order and contract. The P O finance firm takes title to the rights in the purchase order, the inventory they have purchased on your behalf, and the receivable that is generated out of the sale. It’s as simple as that. When you customer pays per the terms of your contract with them the transaction is closed and the purchase order finance firm is paid in full, less their financing charge which is typically in the 2.5-3% per month range in Canada.
In certain cases financing inventory can be arranged purely on a separate basis, but as we have noted, the total sale cycle often relies on the order, the inventory and the receivable being collateralized to make this financing work.
Speak to a credible, trusted and experienced Canadian business financing advisor as to how this type of financing can benefit your firm.