Video transcript: Interview with Richard Ambler, Managing Director at Blavod Wines & Spirits plc.
I'm Richard Ambler, I'm the Managing Director of Blavod Wines & Spirits plc, and we are an owner of brands - alcoholic brands, and we distribute them throughout the UK and also throughout the world. But we also distribute other people's alcoholic brands across the UK market.
The problem we have as a business is that we've been growing very fast. The faster we grow, the more tax we have to fund because we pay the tax for 15 days and the customer then pays us the invoice between 60 to 80 days after we've invoiced them. So the faster we grow, the bigger the gap gets.
We're unable to finance that gap through bank overdrafts because our assets are mainly intellectual assets, brand assets. We don't own our own offices or distribution assets, so we needed to turn to someone who would value the invoice value rather than our asset value, and Close are particularly good at assessing the value of our very good customer base and lending money against that.
The solution we chose was the IDeal product from Close because I borrowed money from Close many years ago and in those days, it was all paper-based and extremely labour intensive. The advantage of IDeal today is that it is web-based, it's very simple, it can be administered by one finance person and Close took a lot of trouble to understand our business and the quality of our invoices and were able to respond to our cash needs very quickly.
We were pretty sure the Close Invoice Finance system would work well for us, but we've been impressed in particular at how the people behind Close have been very responsive to our needs. And so, the combination of a great system and good people who understand what we need has been a great help to us and it's meant that we have been able to focus on growing our business, and we don't have to spend a lot of time worrying about where we get the money from to pay the enormous tax bills that we have to pay the government.