Tasting the difference with the right financing partner on board
DCS (Food Ingredients) are a well-established supplier of quality cheese and charcuterie products to leading manufacturers and foodservice organisations. With cheese manufactured from their production base in Devon and charcuterie sourced from regions across Europe they offer their customers an extensive range of products for wholesale and onward distribution to schools and restaurants across the UK.
Current owner and director Andrew Hunt saw the potential in the business whilst working in the food industry and grabbed the opportunity to set up his own company back in 2017.
As Andrew explains: “I’ve worked in the food industry for 30 years, sourcing the right products and suppliers for my customers. I had worked with the original business in Devon and saw a great opportunity to get more involved, so I set up DCS in August 2017 and bought the factory and its operations shortly afterwards”.
Advantedge had provided initial invoice finance funding to DCS before a decision was made to switch funders from a cost saving perspective as the business started to grow. However, with the onset of Covid-19 in early 2020 and an effective curtailment of service and hospitality sector output, pressure grew on this £1.2m business as turnover dropped by 50%. With market conditions challenging, DCS found that their bank was nervous of offering funding at previous levels due to the loss in turnover and their reliance on a few customers. The banks response was to curb limits on their largest customers resulting in restricted funding and inevitable cashflow issues for the business. With service levels worsening, DCS had no choice but to consider other funding options.
In uncertain times, the importance of having a supportive financial partner by your side is heightened. Despite interest from other would-be suitors, DCS had no hesitation in returning to Advantedge who were able to provide a £300k replacement funding facility with ease and simplicity.
As Andrew continues: “Prior to us re-acquainting ourselves with Hayley and the team at Advantedge, we had endured a very stressful six-month period of uncertainty and pain with our previous funder, and it was reassuring to watch Advantedge turn our misfortune around with the delivery of a new invoice finance facility within 6-7 days of initial contact. At Advantedge there are not the layers of management or processes which can inhibit the type of fast decisions and honest dialogue that small businesses like us need during these most challenging of times. It really does set them apart as a funder. Working with Advantedge will not only support us in continuing business as usual but will also help us to tackle growth opportunities as we look to recover the business lost over the last twelve months.”
Darren Cottenden, director at Advantedge, said: “Over the last 12 months, it has been crucial for funders to step up and support UK businesses. We had no hesitation in supporting DCS through what was undoubtedly a temporary situation. Building personal and long-standing relationships based on excellent client service is important to us. It’s been great to work with Andrew again and support DCS as they continue with their growth plans”.
With funding now secured, and new contracts starting up, DCS can look forward to 2021 and beyond with a degree of cautious optimism having made significant investment in new machinery to boost its production capacity, Andrew and his business are hoping to taste further success with the cashflow support of Advantedge.