To be successful in the fashion industry, one needs to have talent, out-of-the-box creativeness, and the right automation tools (such as apparel ERP software). Clothing manufacturing companies also need a steady cash flow.
Trying to maintain a balance between creative designs and expenditures is one of the hardest tasks an apparel business faces.
These days companies have a variety of borrowing options available that will help make this task easier:
- Traditional Banks – offer business loans
- Trade Credit Insurance – help manage trade credit risk and insure accounts receivables
- Factors – purchase companies A/R at a reduced amount of the face value of invoices
More About Factors
Today, many apparel companies rely on factors to process their orders. So what is a factor? Factoring, also known as “accounts receivable financing,” is an alternative form of financing used by startup companies all the way up to multi-billion dollar corporations. An apparel factor will purchase and assume responsibility of a company’s accounts receivables while making it possible to secure the working capital needed for business growth (and yes, sometimes survival!) without creating new debt. Factoring helps a business meet payroll, take advantage of supplier discounts, and/or increases liquidity.
While factoring has been used for hundreds of years, it became popular in the U.S. garment industry during the1980s and 90s when receivables were not being paid as quickly as companies were receiving orders. Compounding this problem were rising interest rates, tighter credit, and strict bank regulations that made it difficult for businesses, especially small apparel businesses, to get traditional financing.
Benefits of a Factor
From time-to-time clothing manufactures see cash flows become sluggish. While a bank loan will take anywhere from 30 to 90 days to process, a factor can get an approval on cash for unpaid invoices within 24 hours and have that money in your hands in less than a week. Furthermore, clothing manufacturers are often faced with the realities that come with seasonal sales. Through factoring, a business can leverage the benefits of a factor’s accounts receivable management system without the added cost of an in-house credit or collections department.
While fashion businesses are focusing on designing, manufacturing, etc., factors are working continuously to make sure that the business has the capital necessary to pay for materials and equipment needed to make and manufacture goods and pay your apparel business’s overhead and expenses (i.e. payroll and rent).
- Experienced and professional credit and collection teams
- Competitive rates
- Up to 90% advances against the face amount of your unpaid invoices with appropriate documentation
- Quick and flexible responses on credit requests
- State of the art system with online access to view ones account
- SBA and residential mortgage programs
Factor Integration with an Apparel ERP Software
A key compliment to any apparel factor is an inventory management system. Many factors are seeing the value and the considerable time savings by integrating with a fashion software. With the right system in place and managing a businesses orders properly, a factor can quickly:
- Process invoices
- Make cash flow decisions
- Send cash to the business
An ERP system not only makes passing on information to a factor much faster, but it also creates additional efficiencies. The factor simply pulls the information that they need directly from the system or the client can pull it and send it to the factor directly. Either way, the process helps eliminate the need for double entry and reduces the chances of human error.
Using the AIMS 360 system, with a few clicks of your mouse, one can:
- Transmit Orders – select and send all orders that have not been submitted to the factor
- Receive Decisions – Request approval or decline decisions from the factor
- Submit Invoices – once orders are shipped, one can select invoices and send them to the factor electronically
The automation makes the approval process faster, more precise, eliminates double entry, reduces human error and speeds up the time it takes to get funding for any apparel business.
Companies don’t want to lose revenue by missing a shipping deadline because they are waiting for a credit approval to be processed. By implementing the proper apparel software system with factor integration, one can relax while their business runs smoothly.
AIMS integrates with the top factors in the apparel industry such as Wells Fargo, CIT, Continental Business Credit Inc. (CBC), TFI, BB&T, Hilldun, Rosenthal & Rosenthal, Bibby Financial (does not integrate with AIMS system), Hana Financial, Merchants Factor (re-factor) and soon with Milber Factors.
To learn more about how the AIMS 360 factor integration can help your business run proficiently, contact us today!