This month, we went internal and polled our board of members, who consist of experienced furniture credit managers, on one singular question . . .
“As credit managers for suppliers in the home furnishing and accessories industry, what question do you get asked most frequently by retailers?”
Let’s dive into the questions they’re asked and then their respective responses, shall we?
Question: “We are a little behind right now. Can I have more time for payment?”
Answer from Brian: “What is the reason for you needing additional time? Are you having cash flow issues? And if extra time is granted, what time frame are you thinking of?”
In this case, the supplier tries to work with the client as best they can while still maintaining professionalism. Instead of issuing an outright no, and perhaps having to traverse more treacherous waters when it came to debt collection, the supplier tried to deduce the reasoning behind why. This will help moving forward, in case he runs into a similar situation with another client.
-BRIAN SPENCER (Home Meridian)
Question: “How does our business with you compare to other retailers that you are working with?”
Answer from Glenn: “Generally, most retailers are experiencing the same issues you are describing. Successful ones will promptly contact me regarding any issues that could potentially affect payment.”
-GLENN HENDREN (Legacy Classic)
Question: “Can you please increase my line of credit to accommodate my current merchandise needs?
Answer from Dave: “Yes, I will be happy to consider raising your credit limit. What I would ask you to do is e-mail your current business financials (both balance sheet and income statements). Send at least two years of recorded statements, so I can compare the information (quarter to quarter) and (year to year). And then I would be looking for sustained profitability, with an upward trend line and a tangible net worth. After the review, I could determine if a line of credit increase is warranted for your company.”
Question: “What is my line of credit? How much credit can you extend? And can I go over my credit line?”
Answer from Wendy: “Good questions. Let me send you our credit policy terms and conditions so you can review what you signed and agreed to.. . . The short answer for that question is that I defer back to our credit policy and terms and conditions. This is part of our credit application and I have them initial that they have read and understood whenever I set up an account or ownership changes, etc.
Basically, I review credit (via interchange reports, credit inquiries) to see if we can increase credit lines if there is an upsurge in orders.”
-WENDY TESTER (Lee Industries)
Smart People + Good Data = Better Credit Decisions
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