Invoice Discounting from SFS helps Counterplas continue business growth

Established in 1990, Counterplas is now a world class injection moulding and assembly company, serving a range of sectors including automotive, traffic management and DIY, amongst others.

For many years, the company has used invoice finance to improve its cash flow. By using invoice finance, when a company invoices their customer, up to 90% of the approved invoice total is immediately advanced by the finance provider, with the remaining 10% paid once their customer settles the balance. This provides the company with essential working capital so it can benefit from improved cash flow without having to wait for bills to be paid.

Almost a third of Counterplas’ business is supplying Siemens, and as their contracts with Siemens grew, the company’s existing invoice finance provider, seeking to limit the level of business concentrated with one customer, placed certain restrictions on funding of Siemens related invoices.

Paul Isherwood, Managing Director, Counterplas explains: “Siemens is our biggest customer and because a high proportion of our business was with Siemens, our invoice finance provider began to impose more restrictive terms and funding levels on these invoices. When we mentioned this to our contacts at Siemens they recommended Siemens Financial Services (SFS) business to us as an alternative invoice finance provider.”

SFS has tailored the Invoice Discounting arrangement so that there’s no restriction on funding of Siemens invoices and for these invoices 95% of the invoice value is made available immediately. Whilst this was the principal issue to solve, Counterplas has also experienced other benefits from working with SFS.

“With our previous invoice finance provider staff turnover could be quite high. This isn’t the case with SFS and we have been able to build up strong relationships with our account team”, says Paul.

And, despite being initially sceptical about changing providers, Counterplas found the transition to be extremely smooth. The system is similar to the one the company used previously and that has helped with continuity. Additionally, the SFS team are extremely supportive and keen to listen to and respond to queries.

Paul adds: “We have found SFS’ approach to be personable and trusting. And it certainly helps that we are already very familiar with Siemens, the global organisation. It means that we were reassured that the team’s approach would be professional and that they have existing knowledge of our market.

“Supplying our products to Siemens offers us a great opportunity for growth, so it was essential our invoice finance could accommodate and support that. But SFS has surpassed our expectations in a number of ways, not least by taking the time to understand our business and tailoring our invoice discounting arrangement accordingly.”

Colin Grimshaw, Senior Relationship Manager - Invoice Finance UK, SFS adds: “It’s important that companies’ invoice finance is able to support their future growth aspirations. Counterplas has an impressive history of expansion and we’re excited to be supporting them through the next phase.”