Most Canadian business owners and financial managers probably don’t know, in our opinion at least, that financing options exist in Canada for purchase orders and inventory. In covering off financing alternatives such as this with clients we tend to lump these two types of ( relatively unknown ) financing in with the terms ‘ alternative financing ‘ and asset based lending .
Clients who typically have a need for inventory or purchase order financing have typically been unable to arrange traditional financing with their banks or other term lenders.
One of the most common needs that drives these types of financings is the global economy – what do we mean by that. Simply that many clients are telling us that their new suppliers over the last several years are in the U.S. and China, and in some cases Europe. Naturally it is obvious that suppliers in those countries are unable to extend credit to Canadian firms. You know what comes next! They require cash up front in order to release goods.
Even in the best of economic times Canadian business would have a challenge in financing inventory and contracts, paying up front, etc. 2008 – 2009 and the start of 2010 certainly is hardly the best of times, so Canadian firms, especially small to medium size, face huge challenges in generating cash flow and working capital to fund inventory and purchase orders . (Let’s not forget that at that point you have only made the sale and now you have to wait 30-60 days or longer to get paid. Therefore your investment in inventory and receivables becomes even greater.
What is the solution? That solution is simple to consider inventory or purchase order financing as a mechanism to finance your business. This type of financing can be arranged for firms of all size, it will ensure your suppliers get paid promptly, and can be generally set up within a 30 day period if you employ the services of a trusted, credible and experienced business advisor in this area.
So what is involved in P.O. financing and inventory financing and how does it work. Any type of business financing requires a standard application process, i.e. info on your firm, its owners, your current financial position and prospects, etc. Naturally strong emphasis is place on the actual orders and contracts those selves, or the type of inventory that you require that needs to be financed. It is somewhat important that your clients and suppliers can be validated – i.e. are they legitimate companies who have the ability to either supply your firm, pay your firm , etc . A well known name as a client or supplier certainly helps, but with the assistance of the internet, Dun and Bradstreet, and other sources most companies can be validated today from anywhere!
When you purchase orders are financing your suppliers are paid up front on your behalf – you pay the purchase order firm generally as soon as you are able to generate a sale and receivable . For that reason it is necessary to ensure you have either a banking or receivable financing/factoring facility in place
Purchase order financing has a higher cost of finance that traditional financing, so it is also important that you have some good gross margin profit on your transactions, as those solid margins help offset the cost of the financing.
In summary, purchase order and inventory financing are becoming more popular in Canada, although many business owners are still unfamiliar with this unique type of financing. While the financing is costly it can nonetheless help you grow sales and profits tremendously. Investigate this financing with a specialist to determine if it’s the right growth driver for your firm .