Your company carries it. You need to finance it. We’re of course talking about inventory. Discussions with clients reveal a lot of misconceptions around inventory financing in Canada. Let’s try and resolve some of those myths around the financing of your inventory, who the players are, who they are not ( that’s the most common myth ) and we’ll also try and provide some straight forward direction on next steps in your inventory financing challenge.
The overall quality of your inventory management will play a large part in your ability to finance your products, which are a part of the current assets component of your balance sheet. You cannot overlook the importance that an inventory lender will place on your ability to report and count your products. The reality is that most firms are either carrying a ‘ continuous’ or ‘ ‘periodic’ system of inventory control.
So here is solid tip # 1 – be aware that inventory lenders prefer a continuous type of inventory accounting, for all the obvious reasons. Essentially you are counting and monitoring inventory (with the use of software of course!) at all times. That’s a good thing when it comes to a lenders valuation on an ongoing basis and their ability to lend.
You’re company is growing. Unfortunately so is your inventory! And that places a huge drain on your cash flow. The working capital cycle dictates that cash turns into inventory which turns into receivables and then we start all over… that lag can be anywhere from 60 – 120 days, sometimes longer. Never underestimate the problem that higher sales will bring to your inventory financing needs.
Clients typically are looking for inventory financing because the level of investment that you have in product and receivables drains your cash flow. As sales volumes increase your cash flow decreases based on your overall collection period of A/R and of course those inventory turns.
Your sales staff of course never wants to be in a position to tell a customer you don’t have the product they have worked so hard to sell.
Does your company have an inventory financing strategy? The majority of firms we talk to in Canada, certainly in the small and medium business sector do not have access to the inventory financing they need. Do true inventory financing companies exist in Canada? We feel that the answer is generally ‘ no ‘, they do not. However if your firm would consider an asset based lending scenario that in effect takes the place of inventory finance companies in Canada.
Under an asset based lending strategy your inventory is margined for what its worth, by experts who categorically know what its worth. You will enhance your ability to finance your product if you have the controls, reporting, and inventory accounting system in places that makes the inventory and asset based lender ‘ comfortable ‘.
Speak to a trusted, credible, and experienced business financing advisor with regards to inventory financing companies and asset based lenders who will give your product the financing it deserves!