Chances are you became a solution provider because of an affinity for technology, not because you love financial management. But keeping an eye on accounting and cash flow is essential to ensure you're in it for the long haul. And Ingram Micro Financial Solutions can help with credit and capital services designed to ease cash flow challenges.
"Solution providers may have the tech background, but may not have the financial expertise to grow their business," says Melanie Delvalle, market development executive, Ingram Micro Financial Solutions. "We can help them understand what makes the most sense."
It can be a fine line between cash-flow challenges and bad habits. Some solution providers charge orders to their credit cards because they want the points, and then use the points for sales-team SPIFs. But if those credit card bills aren't paid on time, unnecessary interest accrues. Others use their bank's credit line for receivables management instead of its intended purpose: Funding actual business growth. And other solution providers require down payments to better manage timing of their receivables in order to take on new opportunities and free up credit.
Many distributors offer solution providers net terms to attract their business. So it may make sense to use Ingram Micro's net 30 terms or to ask the customer for a down payment. Another option is to use one of Ingram Micro's programs for accelerated cash flow.
"The key variable is where a solution provider is in their own business growth cycle," says Delvalle.
Inram Micro Financial Solutions offers a number of services for solution providers:
- End-user lockbox programs allow solution providers to go after larger opportunities than their current credit capacity permits.
- The NOWaccount program accelerates cash flow by paying 90 percent of an invoice within the first five days, allowing solution providers to prepay for products and pay their technicians before their customer makes a payment.
Customers can get 30-, 60- or 90-day terms for a flat fee and still have the additional cash flow. For a small fee, solution providers also can have their funds if the end user pays late or not at all.
"Talk to our team," says Delvalle. "We can look at trends in your financials and recommend programs that will help your business."