Video transcript: Interview with Mark Poulson, Company Secretary and Group Accountant at Paul John Plant Ltd.
My name is Mark Poulson. I work for Paul John Plant Limited. I am the company secretary and group accountant.
We provide plant into both the rail industry and the civil industry, and our present turnover is about £13 million per annum.
Unlike a lot of businesses that are one dimensional in their funding requirements, we try and layer our funding. What I mean by that is that we use a number of funding mechanisms - those being overdraft facilities, invoice discounting and hire purchase. Close Brothers help us with two out of the three, being the invoice discounting and the hire purchase.
The specific benefits for invoice discounting are that it provides you a mechanism to cover your work in progress requirements, in that rather than waiting your 30, 60, 90 days via your debtor's ledger, you receive the money the day after you invoice.
Businesses that find changing their funding set-ups daunting, I can understand that. We, as Paul John Plant, had never used invoice discounting before. We were very nervous of the fact. When Close actually came in and pitched, we liked the people. Obviously we chose to go with Close, we didn't know how that relationship was going to work out, but I can honestly say that I have found them very straight talking. They have been very fair and for us they have been very, very good.
Having a number of finance providers certainly does mitigate risk. It's true the old adage - 'don't have all your eggs in one basket'. By having a blend of providers, it means that, you know, we're hopefully not held to ransom by any one corporation or company.
Close Brothers really are no different to any other providers out there in terms of the products that they provide, be that is hire purchase or invoice discounting. Where they stand out from the crowd, is the way they actually go about doing the business, in that we are not waiting for weeks on end to get answers, you know, it's pretty much immediate. We have a Client Manager who I can talk to on a daily basis if I require - I don't do that, I probably speak to him about once a month, but if I do pose a question and want an answer, I pretty much get an answer back immediately. That stands in very good stead against our competitors.
Without Close Brothers being onboard, we would not have been at the level of turnover that we are at now.