Bespoke motor parts manufacturer gets its cashflow into gear
Starting out as a sole trader in the automotive industry, Simon Levett founded Sim-Tech Solutions in order to design and manufacture bespoke driveline equipment for the automotive industry. Based in Daventry, Northamptonshire, in the heart of the UK’s ‘Motorsport Valley’, Sim-Tech has experienced rapid growth since forming in 2007. Today the company supplies a large range of clients in the global motorsports industry, including Jaguar Land Rover, Formula E and World Rally Cross teams.
The business runs a streamlined operation with five full-time employees and, while the firm previously imported parts from the U.S. in order to manufacture products, it has since adjusted its supply chain to domestic trade for cost efficiency.
Working with expensive component parts, coupled with its own ‘manufacture to order’ strategy, 60-day production times and 60-day payment terms from customers had resulted in cashflow headaches. To offset the cashflow strain, Sim-Tech sought a flexible funding partner with operational experience in supporting the industry.
It was at this point the business turned to SME funding partner, Bibby Financial Services. BFS’s commercial team were able to provide an invoice finance facility worth £250k, enabling the business to access cash tied-up in unpaid invoices.
Simon Levett, CEO of Sim-Tech, said:
“We purposely structured our business to ensure that we only manufacture to order, and therefore understand the risk of not having the liquidity within the business to fulfil multiple large orders that come in at short notice.
“After acting on a referral from a friend, we got in touch with BFS.
“BFS has been instrumental to my business’s growth. Within a matter of weeks, we had tailored funding in place, enabling us to access the cashflow we needed. The commercial team was able to structure a funding facility that gives us real flexibility and our relationship management team are supportive and easy to work with.
“Having access to a dedicated credit control team is a real benefit for us. As a small team of five, this support relieves an administrative weight from our shoulders, allowing us to focus on business growth.
“As a result, we can now fulfil several large orders at once without any issues, and begin to focus on research and development projects, for which we’re currently developing a 3D printing method for our products.”
Mark Turner, relationship manager at BFS, commented:
“Working with Simon and Sim-Tech has been an excellent experience so far. Capitalising from a niche opportunity to supply for Jaguar Land Rover, you can now find Sim-Tech parts in every prototype JLR engine worldwide.
“With payment windows from production to delivery elapsing up to 120 days, Sim-Tech was financially constrained in these periods of cashflow lapses.
“By structuring an invoice finance funding agreement, the automotive manufacturer has the financial freedom to boost its assembly line and R&D efforts, along with the working capital to do so.”