Traditional Factoring vs Fintech

Accounts Receivable Factoring vs FintechThere has been a lot of talk in the news about fintech (financial technology) lately.  Certainly there is a lot to be said about alternative approaches to financing over more traditional methods offered by the banks. However, accounts receivable factoring has always been an alternative financing method over what the banks offer, and has a long track record of success. In fact, many of the fintech companies even offer factoring programs, but they tend to be bare bones versions of factoring that only offer some of the benefits gained by factoring, and oftentimes even charge higher rates than traditional factoring companies.

The factoring industry has been around for a long time. It was well established in Europe when the original colonists brought it over to America. In fact, the king and queen of Spain offered a form of factoring to Christopher Columbus when he wanted to set sail for the “New World”. While this may seem antiquated in our modern technology driven world, the fact is that most factoring companies do take advantage of modern technologies, offering most of the benefits of fintech, but with much more experience, a proven track record of helping to grow small to medium sized businesses, and much lower rates.

To see the difference, the chart below compares traditional factoring with DSA Factors to similar programs with PayPal Working Capital, Bluevine, and Fundbox, three of the more popular fintech companies offering similar programs to invoice factoring.

 DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
DSA FactorsPayPal Working CapitalBlueVineFundbox
Take on New DebtNo, the funds DSA provides you with are yours to keep.Yes, PayPal is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.Maybe, if your customers don't pay BlueVine, they will require you to pay them back after 90 days.Yes, Fundbox is offering you a loan, so you are taking on new debt.
Credit LimitNo, with DSA Factors we will fund you for all of your receivables.Yes, the lesser of 18% of your annual sales on PayPal or $97,000.Yes, $20,000 to $500,000 based on your company's credit.Yes, $25,000.
Based on Your CreditNo, since DSA is giving your customers a line of credit, credit decisions are made based on your customer's good credit.No, the loan amount is based on your annual sales volume with PayPal.Yes, BlueVine will assign you a credit limit based on your credit worthiness.Yes, Fundbox determines your credit limit based on your credit worthiness.
Charges You InterestNo, DSA offers a flat rate factoring fee.Yes, the interest is charged to you up front when you get a loan, regardless of how long it takes to pay the loan off.No, BlueVine also offers a flat rate program, but at 10-15% their rates are at least triple or quadruple the rate that DSA offers.Yes, based on the size of the loan, Fundbox may charge you anywhere from 5-12% over the course of a 84 day loan.
Term LimitNo, DSA Factors has no problem working with extended terms.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days, with the full amount due in 540 days.Yes, if payment has not been received after 90 days, you are required to pay back BlueVine.Yes, you must pay off the loan in 12 weekly installments.
Collections OutsourcingYes, DSA Factors handles all of your collection work.No, your customers must make payments through PayPal, but PayPal does not help with collections.No, your customers are required to make payments to a BlueVine drop box or bank account, however BlueVine does not help you collect.No, Fundbox does not handle collections for you, it is strictly a loan that you need to pay back.
Insure Your ReceivablesYes, with DSA's non-recourse factoring your invoices are insured against non-payment.No, PayPal only does payment processing for you.No, if an invoice has not been paid after 90 days of being funded for it, you are required to pay back BlueVine.No, Fundbox is strictly a loan that must be paid back in 12 weekly installments.
Choose Which Invoices You FactorYes, DSA Factors does not require you to factor all of your receivables.No, a percentage of all payments made through PayPal will be applied towards your loan.Yes, you can choose which invoices you want to get funded on.Yes, however there is a $100 minimum in order to get funded for an invoice.
Minimum Volume RequirementNo, at DSA Factors you are not required to factor a certain amount, and there are no annual fees.Yes, PayPal requires you to pay back 10% of the loan every 90 days if you aren't doing enough volume.No, BlueVine does not require you to fund a minimum amount each year.No, Fundbox does not require you to draw a minimum amount each year, however, they will not fund you if an invoice is worth less than $100.
Long Term CommitmentNo, with DSA Factors you can stop factoring at any time, but since many of our clients have been with us for over 20 years, we don't think that you will want to stop.No, once your loan with PayPal is paid off you can start looking for alternative sources of financing.No, BlueVine allows you to stop drawing on your line of credit at any time, but you will need to pay them back for any invoices that they have not received payment on.No, once you have paid off your loan with Fundbox, you are free to pursue other financing options.
Charge Payment Processing FeesNo, DSA will never charge you for processing a payment.Yes, you are required to accept payments through PayPal and pay their payment processing fees.No, although BlueVine will funnel all payments into their account without your customers knowing that BlueVine is receiving the payment.N/A, Fundbox does not process payments.
Available TechnologyDSA offers its clients an online portal where they can get automatic approvals, view agers, remittance reports, and other reports in real time. Your customers may also go online to make payments.With PayPal you get a loan online and customers make payments online.BlueVine requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.Fundbox requires the use of Quickbooks or similar software to get funded.
Good Old Fashioned ServiceAs a family owned and operated business, you can call DSA at any time and speak with a principal who can come up with creative solutions to help grow your business.PayPal doesn't even list a phone number on their web site.BlueVine may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.Fundbox may have a phone number, but it is doubtful that you will be able to speak to anyone who can actually help you.

As you can see, traditional accounts receivable factoring with DSA Factors offers all of the benefits that the fintech companies offer, along with many more.  You still get an online portal where you can efficiently do business and your customers can make online payments, but you also can pick up a phone and speak with one of our principals at any time.  As a result, we can come up with creative solutions for your business that might not fit into a fintech company’s software, such as purchase order financing.  So if you are looking for ways to finance your business, go with a time-tested method that works, accounts receivable factoring.  Give DSA Factors a call today at 773-248-9000 and we can be funding you in as little as 24 hours.

Made in USA – Supporting American Manufacturing

Made in USA - Supporting American ManufacturingIt used to be that you would purchase a product and on it would be a tag featuring the stars and stripes and would say “Made in USA”. However, as our shopping habits have evolved, with more and more people doing their shopping online, and big box stores becoming pretty much the only option for traditional brick and mortar shopping, that “Made in USA” label is becoming harder and harder to find. Despite these changes and rapidly developing global market, it should come as no surprise that the old “Made in USA” tag is becoming more and more sought after. Many Americans have even joined the “Shop Local” movement and make an effort to do as much shopping as they can at mom and pop stores in their community.

While you probably have seen “Shop Local” stickers in suburban downtowns and throughout the neighborhoods of big cities, there is a lot more to the movement than just shopping at a store whose owner happens to be your neighbor. Many of these stores will strictly source merchandise that is manufactured here in America. So by shopping locally you aren’t just helping out your neighbor, but you are also helping out your fellow Americans by creating manufacturing jobs right here in the states, rather than outsourcing those jobs overseas.

How Important are American Made Products to Consumers?

Just how important is it to consumers to purchase an American made product? According to research done by Consumer Reports, eight in ten Americans would prefer to purchase an American made product over an import, and six in ten would even be willing to be 10% more for a product that was made here at home. Furthermore, two in three consumers prefer to shop in stores that advertise American made products. However, more than half of consumers still believe that American made products are too costly.

There are many reasons why consumers prefer to buy products made in America. One reason is patriotism, a lot of consumers take pride in the fact that the products in their home were made in America. Consumers also like that they are creating jobs and supporting the American economy when they buy an American made product. However, the most important factor may simply be the quality of the product, most consumers believe that when they buy a product that is made in America that it is something that will last for a long time.

The Cost of Manufacturing in America

Despite the fact that consumers prefer American made products, the cost of labor in America is the reason why most manufacturers still prefer to produce their products overseas. It has nothing to do with America having a high minimum wage, in general most factory workers in America are skilled professionals who get paid at a much higher rate than minimum wage. In addition to this they also receive benefits such as health insurance and 401Ks, along with paid vacations and sick leave.

Then there is the question of materials, its one thing for a product to be assembled in America, but it’s another thing for it to be assembled in America from parts or materials that are also American made. If a factory is purchasing metals, plastics, or fabrics that are made in America, their suppliers also have to deal with higher expenses which of course impact the price of the raw materials that manufacturers purchase.

Advantages to Manufacturing in America

Despite these higher costs, there are still many advantages to producing merchandise here in the USA. It isn’t just the quality of the product, but also the quality control. If a product is being made overseas, the importer may have little control over how it is being made, and may not even be aware of any issues until it arrives at an American port a month after it has already been paid for. Of course the most obvious benefit is that the product does not have to be transported from overseas. This not only saves money, but it also saves time. It doesn’t need to spend a month on a ship and then go through customs before you have access to it, and that’s assuming that there aren’t any port slow downs. You also don’t need to fill an entire container in order to receive your product.

Of course the most important benefit to American manufacturing is consistency. American factories can produce goods 365 days a year. Yes, employees request time off for vacation, but those vacations are staggered so that a factory is never short-handed. In China, and other parts of Asia, factories have to shut down for an entire month as employees return to their homes to celebrate Chinese New Year. Even worse, when Chinese employees return from New Year celebrations, they tend to find a new job at a different factory. As a result you not only need to train an entire team of new employees every year, you never have any employees with the experience required to make high quality products.

Furniture Manufacturing in America

When you consider all of these factors, you actually can put together a pretty good argument for American manufacturing. However, in the furniture industry, manufacturing in America becomes even more important. By offering American made products you can also offer custom made furniture, allowing consumers to choose the configuration and sizes they want along with the finishes or fabrics they want. With overseas manufacturing you would be left with lead times of art least 10-12 weeks, but with domestic manufacturing lead times may be cut down to 4-6 weeks, which coincides very nicely with how long it usually takes a home buyer to close on their new home. These reduced lead times are also very important if a replacement part needs to be ordered and your local store doesn’t have any in stock.

As a result of these benefits, American manufacturing definitely plays a very important role in the casual furniture industry. According to Casual Living, three quarters of outdoor specialty shops carry American made lines, and four in ten consumers prefer to purchase American made products. The only features that are more important than where the furniture is made are price, comfort, and style. Again the main reason why consumers prefer to buy American is because they believe it is higher quality, and as a result, most high end merchandise is manufactured in the USA.

The only thing that may surprise you, despite the Shop Local movements strong grass roots efforts and social media presence, only 10% of Millennials believe that it is important to buy American made products. This number is slightly higher among Millennials that are married and have families, as well for those who live in the North and the West. However, there is another figure that does bode well for American manufacturing. 93% of all Millennials are willing to pay more for an American made product, with the vast majority willing to pay 20% more for a product with a “Made in USA” tag on it.

Financing American Manufacturing

If you are an American manufacturer and need help making payroll or paying your suppliers, look no further than DSA Factors. Our accounts receivable factoring program can provide you with the cash flow you need to grow your business. We are family owned and operated business based out of Chicago, Illinois who provides nationwide factoring services. Your customers prefer to Shop Local, so you should to. Partner with DSA Factors and you can outsource your accounts receivable to a family owned business right here in the USA!

What is Invoice Factoring?

Improve Your Cash Flow with Invoice FactoringWhat is Invoice Factoring?

Invoice Factoring is a way of improving your cash flow without taking on any new debt. When you factor an invoice, what you are doing is selling that invoice to a factoring company. As a result, factoring is not a loan and you can get paid immediately for the products or services that you invoiced for, rather than having to wait until the invoice becomes due.

Why Should I Use Invoice Factoring?

While invoice factoring isn’t the only way to speed up your cash flow, it offers many benefits that you won’t get from other methods. Below are a couple of common methods used to improve cash flow and how they compare to invoice factoring:

Bank Loans vs Invoice Factoring

With a bank loan, or SBA loan, you are taking on new debt, the money you receive is not yours and has to be paid back. However, when you factor an invoice the money you receive is yours to keep. Banks, also assign you a strict credit limit, you can only borrow up to that credit limit. However, with invoice factoring the sky is the limit, the more invoices you have, the more money you can receive. Furthermore, securing a bank loan is a cumbersome process and often times you may wait months only to find out that you haven’t been approved because your credit isn’t good enough. With invoice factoring decisions are made quickly, often times within minutes, and decisions are based on your customers’ credit, not your own.

Investors vs Invoice Factoring

While taking on an investor is a good way of getting a quick cash infusion without taking on any new debt, it also means that you are giving up a portion of your company. From a financial point of view you no longer own a significant portion of your business. However, even more problematic is that you are giving up control of your company to someone else. If you and your investor don’t meet eye to eye on various matters you may be running into trouble. With invoice factoring this is not an issue, you still receive the cash that you need without having to give up any portion of your company or having anyone else tell you how to run your business. Furthermore, invoice factoring is a continual process, it can provide you with unlimited positive cash flow for many years to come. With an investor it is a one time deal for a fixed amount of money, unless of course you want to give up even more of your business.

How can I Use Cash Flow I Receive from Invoice Factoring?

The positive cash flow you receive from invoice factoring can be used in any way you want. With invoice factoring you don’t need to answer to a bank or to an investor in your company, you are still in the driver’s seat. The cash flow you receive can be used to meet payroll, get a container released, attend a trade show, start a new marketing campaign, upgrade equipment and facilities, or for anything else that you can think of.

Are there Additional Benefits to Invoice Factoring?

In addition to the improved cash flow, invoice factoring also provides you with other benefits that you will not receive from other sources. With invoice factoring you are also outsourcing your entire accounts receivable department. You no longer need to worry about keeping tabs on your customers, your factoring company will handle all of your credit checking for you. Further more you no longer need to keep on top of your customers since your factoring company will handle all of the collection work for you. If that isn’t enough, with non-recourse factoring you are also insured against non-payment of your invoices, your factoring company will assume the risk for you.

How can I Start Invoice Factoring Today?

Give DSA Factors a call at 773-248-9000 and one of our principals will be happy to speak with you. DSA Factors has been providing non-recourse invoice factoring for over 30 years to a wide range of industries, including but not limited to furniture, bedding, giftware, housewares, textiles, clothing, trucking, food, marketing, and staffing. As a family owned and operated business you not only receive low competitive rates, but also personalized service that the larger, bank-owned factoring companies can not provide. Call us today, and we can be providing you with improved cash flow tomorrow.

Bigger is Better – Top Furniture Retailers Seeing Higher Sales

Higher SalesAccording to a recent report in Furniture Today, the top 10 furniture retailers saw an 11% increase in sales in 2014 over 2013, while the top 100 retailers experienced sales increases of 8.3%.  This is the fifth straight year that the top 100 have experienced sales growth.  Overall furniture sales have grown from $50.5 billion in 2013 to $52.8 billion in 2014, a 4.5% increase overall.  This means that the top 100’s gains has come mostly at the expense of smaller furniture retailers.

It isn’t just sales that are growing, but also locations as well.  The top 100 retailers opened a combined 711 stores in 2014, a 7.4% increase in the number of locations, with the top 10 leading way with a 22% increase in new stores.  2013 saw only 321 new stores open for the top 100.  While many of these are actual new stores, many of them also came thru acquisitions.  Mattress Firm alone added over a hundred new stores thanks to acquiring two other chains that were in last years top 100 list.
The top 100 retailers were able to account for 79% of all sales for US furniture stores.  They accounted for 37% of overall furniture sales nationwide.  This takes into consideration not just furniture stores, but any other stores, whether brick and mortar or online, or catalogs that sell furniture such appliance stores, department stores, rental stores, warehouse clubs, and many more.
Leading the way in the top 100 were the specialty stores.  There are 27 specialty stores in the top 100, and they combined for net sales increases of 10.4%, while conventional furniture stores saw net sales increases of 6.5%.  Even more amazing is that these 27 stores accounted for 45% of sales for the top 100.  It was the 10 bedding specialists in the top 100 that were able to account for most of these gains.  Bedding specialists saw a net sales increase of 15.6% while they added 555 new stores, an increase of 14.2%.
The top 10 stores are as follows:
  1. Ashley Furniture HomeStore
  2. IKEA
  3. Williams-Sonoma
  4. Rooms To Go
  5. Mattress Firm
  6. RH
  7. Berkshire Hathaway [furniture division]
  8. Pier 1 Imports
  9. Raymour & Flanigan
  10. Sleep Number
With the big names taking a higher share of sales volume away from the smaller stores, it is more important than ever that you are able to get your products into their stores in order to grow your business.  To get into these stores you need to be able to give them terms on large orders.  Let DSA Factors factor your receivables and improve your cash flow so your business can grow.  With our help you no longer need to worry about cash flow or credit, and can instead focus on sales.  Give us a call today at 773-248-9000.
This data is based on furniture, bedding, and accessories sales.

DSA Factors is Ready to Help a Rebounding American Furniture Industry

According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recent report titled “Made in America, Again: Why Manufacturing Will Return to the U.S.”, we can expect to start seeing furniture manufacturing returning to the United States.  In fact BCG believes that furniture is just one of seven “tipping-point” industries that will start moving manufacturing jobs from China back to the US.  The list of industries includes the automotive, electrical equipment and appliances, furniture, plastics and rubber, machinery, fabricated metal products, and the computer and electronics industries.  These industries account for approximately $2 trillion in sales annually and account for 70% of all Chinese imports.  Additionally this can lead to the creation of 2 to 3 million jobs in the United States.

According to BCG, Chinese wages have been rising at 15-20% per year, while the Yuan RMB has been appreciating against the US Dollar.  The once enormous labor gap cost will shrink to less than 40% by 2015.  As a result the industries mentioned above which have a relatively low labor cost, compared to high costs of shipping, materials, security, delivery responsiveness, and quality control, will begin to move manufacturing of products back to the US for sales throughout the Americas and Europe.  The Chinese will not be closing their factories as they will still have a competitive advantage in Asian markets, but their competitive advantage will disappear in North America and most likely in Europe as well.

BCG does mention that Mexico will still have a much lower labor cost than either China or the US, and some manufacturing jobs will almost certainly go to Mexico.  However the vast majority of manufacturing should be coming back to the US due to our larger skilled workforce and for logistical and security reasons in these tipping-point industries.  The clothing and textile industries, however, most likely won’t be returning due to their high percentage of labor costs which will allow the Chinese to keep their competitive advantage.

These changes are already becoming apparent.  From 2001 to 2004 Chinese imports grew by about 20% per year.  However, there have been dramatic decreases in recent years with imports flattening out and even declining in 2009, not just for Chinese imports but for imports from all low-cost nations.

At DSA Factors we are proud to support the American manufacturing industry and are ready to help out anyone, big or small, who is bringing manufacturing back to the US.  We are located in Chicago and have been serving the furniture, bedding, giftware, housewares, trucking, staffing, and many other industries since 1986.  We have helped many companies to grow over the years and will work with you to grow your business.