When William Watson founded STS 2000 in 1997, self-checkout tills hadn’t yet been introduced in the UK. More than 20 years later, it’s hard to believe there was a time before shoppers could single-handedly scan and process their own purchases. Providing IT support services to the major players in this multi-billion pound industry has become STS 2000’s bread and butter.
STS 2000 remains a family-run business with William’s son-in-law, Malcolm, at the helm. They provide specialist services to the computer industry including refurbishment and testing as well as the repair and storage of PC and EPOS equipment. Their combination of specialist IT technical skills, experience and resources is unparalleled in the market.
New opportunities, new challenges
Over the years, Malcolm has worked with a wide variety of top-name clients from leading supermarkets and department stores to IT manufacturers and telecom companies. The margins are very competitive in his line of work, so cash flow is always on his mind.
“We’d been using supplier finance for many years as a way of paying our suppliers on credit,” says Malcolm. “But last year, we won contracts with new big-name clients where this wasn’t an option. Having to cover upfront supplier costs before getting paid for the work put a real strain on our cash flow”.
Once work for these clients was completed, ST S2000 had to wait up to 60 days to be paid. With so much of their cash tied up in outstanding invoices, covering fortnightly payroll had become a challenge.
“Some of the team have been working here since they left school,” Malcolm explains. “I’ve known them for years. When you’re a small business, your staff are like family so making sure they get paid on time has to be a priority.”
Bridging the cash flow gap
Malcolm has been a Barclays Business Banking customer for 45 years. Knowing he’d need to look for another funding solution, he didn’t hesitate to get in touch with his Relationship Manager, Ben Chapman. The Barclays partnership with MarketInvoice had just been launched and Ben saw that invoice finance would be a good fit.
“In this time crucial scenario, it was imperative to identify a speedy solution to meet the client’s required needs. MarketInvoice were in touch with Malcolm within a matter of hours, taking time to really understand the business and the funding requirement.
It was evident that MarketInvoice share Barclays core service values to deliver the best possible outcomes for our mutual clients. It was a pleasure to work with MarketInvoice and a fantastic opportunity to offer a valuable new solution to my client, I very much look forward strengthening our partnership and working with them more closely in future.”
A solution that works
Now Malcolm doesn’t have to worry about waiting 60 days for his clients to pay. With MarketInvoice, he can turn outstanding invoices into cash straight away.
“The cash flow squeeze we were dealing with last year was really stressful,” adds Malcolm. “So it was a massive relief to get it sorted quickly and get back to business as usual. The team at MarketInvoice has made the whole thing very easy.
This was the first time I had come across an invoice finance solution that lets you choose which invoices to fund. With MarketInvoice, I have total flexibility. I get the cash I need, when I need it. It just works.”
Having invoice finance in place means that STS 2000 can fulfil their commitments – both to their staff and their clients. With easy access to funding, Malcolm can keep business running smoothly.