Plank Hardware Builds B2B Business by Enabling B2B Buyers to Pay on Terms
October 31, 2022
The challenge – adapting to grow B2B Business
When a successful B2C business decides to grow its B2B business, the payment types offered to new customers can be decisive in its success.
Plank Hardware is a three-year-old London-based design brand manufacturing high-quality design details for the modern home. The first years of the business were focused on serving the B2C market.
Plank made a strategic decision to grow its business into the B2B market, targeting customers such as kitchen companies, interior designers, and architects. They hired a business development executive to help grow into the B2B market and quickly realized the offering was missing one important ingredient – a net terms option.
Payment on terms
“The ability for B2B buyers to pay on terms rather than upfront is very important and can often be a deal-breaker,” said Nathan Bewsher, B2B Strategy Manager at Plank.
“We had secured a £2 million venture capital investment, which we could have used to underwrite client credit in-house,” explained Bewsher. “However, one of our co-founders has a background in credit and risk and understands the complexities of implementing an in-house program. There were also far more productive ways to use our investment, so we made an early decision to outsource our trade credit program.”
As an eCommerce business, Plank knew a frictionless customer experience is an important differentiator in the market, and its trade credit program would need to live up to high standards of user experience.
Plank evaluated five potential outsourced trade credit suppliers.
“We were looking for a good working relationship with a partner we could trust,” said Bewsher. “One of them was a relatively new business that had not been through tough economic times, and we were concerned about trusting our clients with them. Another promised us account approval rates that we felt were unrealistic.”
Plank discovered some of TreviPay’s competitors do not formally underwrite the debt. Instead, they may ask the buyer to register a credit card that can be charged if the debt is not paid as per the terms of the invoice, which ultimately means Plank would still be liable for unpaid debt.
Plank chose TreviPay for two key reasons. “We very much liked TreviPay’s attitude and felt we had a good relationship from the start. TreviPay fully underwrites the debt and has a long and proven track record. They could deliver the low-friction solution we were looking for.”
The outsourced credit solution
Business customers, such as kitchen companies, interior designers, and architects, can now apply for a line of credit that can be spent exclusively at the Plank online store.
The application and risk assessment process takes place in just a few seconds as part of an entirely digital experience. Approved buyers can choose Net 30 at checkout and begin spending their credit immediately with a one-click ordering process, making ordering quick and easy.
As the credit is usable only with Plank, the brand has created a competitive advantage that not only encourages more sales but also drives customer loyalty.
Plank can now offer business account trade credit to its B2B customers while leaving responsibility for risk assessment and underwriting to TreviPay. This means Plank is always paid on time even if a buyer defaults on payment. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) and the need to allocate resources to chase unpaid invoices were eliminated.
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