Maximising Opportunities

Published April 2017


Ten years ago Paul Seward opened E-Warehousing. He had nothing but an empty 35,000 sq ft warehouse and from that he’s built up a thriving business. The company offers a third party order fulfillment service, supporting online companies all over the world with their retail and wholesale supplies.

Paul has created a business that prides itself on truly meeting its customers’ requirements, offering special and bespoke services with a near perfect pick rate.

What was needed?

Having enjoyed great success with E-Warehousing, in 2016 Paul saw a fantastic opportunity to buy another business and expand his operation. This warehouse business, very similar to E-Warehousing, had hit financial difficulties and the owners were looking for a buyer. Paul immediately identified massive benefits in purchasing the 200,000 sq ft space with the capability of holding 25,000 pallets, the only problem was that he hadn’t planned for it and he hadn’t got the money.

Whilst this opportunity was in his mind, Paul was exhibiting at a local Chamber of Commerce Expo. Taking a look around the show he came across Cranfield Business Finance and discussions began.

The Solution

Cranfield Business Finance specialises in sourcing the right financial solutions that meet business requirements. With access to the whole of the lender market, the company is able to impartially find the best solutions for each individual case.

The first step was for Cranfield Business Finance to properly understand Paul’s requirements. There was no way around it, this was quite a complex project. Paul needed to raise the finance from nothing. It was also further complicated by the fact that Paul is not a UK resident.

It took two months and a great deal of perseverance from the Cranfield Business Finance team to source the right solution. Many different lenders were spoken to and lots of different options were explored. In the end, a solution was found where Paul was able to refinance the assets of both his existing company, such as the plant and equipment, and also the assets of the target company that he was looking to buy. In addition, an Invoice Finance facility was put in place at E-Warehousing and this helped Paul raise enough money for 100% of the loan.

Invoice Finance is a solution that is growing in popularity. It’s normally used to help businesses that offer customers credit terms, as any delay in receiving money can cause cash flow difficulties. By using Invoice Finance a business can take back control of its cash flow by releasing up to 90% of its outstanding invoices. In this instance, Paul was able to use the facility to release working capital tied up in paperwork and subsequently get the funds to make his purchase.

The Outcome

Paul could not be happier with how everything has turned out. Within just a few months the new business has started turning a profit and it has an even more promising forecast.

“Without Cranfield Business Finance, this just wouldn’t have happened,” Paul says. “They held my hand right through the process, and spent so much time and effort facilitating numerous meetings and understanding what I wanted to achieve. They really made sure it happened.”

It took some time for Paul to get used to a new way of working, but the results have been well worth it. He comments, “We were brand new to Invoice Finance and it’s a new way to work. As with anything like this, there were a few teething difficulties, but we’re now settled into everything and it’s working extremely well for us.”

Even after the solution was completed, Cranfield Business Finance kept open the lines of communication. “From when the deal first went through right up to present day, the team at Cranfield Business Finance has kept in touch. There is such a strong element of customer care. I’d definitely state that customers are valued by the team.”

Looking to the future, Paul has more expansion plans, and he is already actively speaking to Cranfield Business Finance to support him again. “I wouldn't hesitate to involve Cranfield Business Finance again. Even if they can only help me with advice, I trust them completely. I can honestly say it’s been a pleasure to work with them.”