“We’re growing fast and Resolve really does help with this.”-John Sanzone, Founder and CEO, Trenchless Supply
Since opening its doors in early 2021, Trenchless Supply has quickly become a major player in the trenchless industry, providing supplies, equipment, and training to companies cutting new paths in underground infrastructure.
Using trenchless technology, plumbers and construction companies can build, repair, and rehabilitate a broad range of underground infrastructures—from sewer lines to electrical conduits—with minimal above ground impact.
That means faster jobs that cost less. It also means less disruption to city and residential thoroughfares, minimal environmental damage, and infrastructure that lasts longer.
Founder and CEO John Sanzone invested just $100 to get Trenchless Supply started. Today, the company regularly makes sales of $100,000. It has quickly become the first stop for established professionals in the trenchless industry looking for top value and great customer service.
That being said, like any company through rapid growth, Trenchless Supply has faced a few aches and pains along the way—particularly when it comes to managing their accounts receivables.
With Trenchless Supply’s increasing sales volume, coupled with large orders that their customers frequently placed, the strings on the company’s working capital began to tighten.
While their customers were rarely late making payments, Trenchless Supply’s financial team faced the task of manually managing a growing accounts receivables balance.
On top of that, customers often called with relatively minor issues for the team to deal with. These calls quickly added up. A single request for a copy of an invoice or a customer statement is no big deal. But multiple requests, day after day, week after week, began to eat up resources and create drag.
The company’s eCommerce front-end, powered by Wix, helped to reduce some friction in the ordering process. But there was no way for customers to log in and see their ordering history, outstanding invoices, and other important information.
Finally, with both accounts receivable and payment pains growing—with no sign of letting up—and some customers beginning to pay their bills late, Sanzone recognized that Trenchless Supply’s net terms were putting the company in a vulnerable position. He explained “I didn’t want to be providing cash flow for everyone,” as he needed a way to free up cash flow while incentivizing customers to pay on time.
Sanzone was wary of invoice factoring for reasons shared by many other business owners: opaque fee structures, the loss of ownership of accounts receivable, and the extra backoffice burden of filling out applications for each invoice.
He knew that Trenchless Supply needed an alternative financing solution for their customers, handled by a third party that was upfront about its fees, quick and easy to use, and allowed them to maintain complete ownership over their accounts receivables and customer relationships.
Sanzone’s research first brought him to Affirm, the buy now, pay later solution for consumers. Affirm’s point of sale installment loans free up cash flow on the purchaser’s side—a huge benefit to many merchants. But it wasn’t the right type of financing for a B2B vendor like Trenchless Supply.
The team at Affirm directed Sanzone to Resolve. And, once he learned more about what Resolve could do for his business, he was ready to go ASAP.
Once Trenchless Supply teamed up with Resolve, the burden of managing their accounts receivable became feather light. Sanzone says that, thanks to Resolve, his accounting team is better able to manage their time. Customers are no longer calling the office, asking to see their invoices or other documents—everything is easily accessible through their Resolve account.
On top of that, Resolve’s accounts receivable solution acts as a relief valve for working capital pressure. With advances of 50% on orders invoiced through Resolve, Trenchless Supply now has more working capital. Sanzone says he could be taking larger advances of 75%, but he chooses the smaller amount because it’s enough to fulfill his company’s needs.
Since Trenchless Supply’s customers use Resolve to choose what size advances they take, with a transparent fee structure, they tailor their financing according to their situation. That’s good news for a company like Trenchless Supply, with an ever-expanding customer base. It means growing rapidly doesn’t equate to growing unsustainably.
Trenchless Supply’s previous, more casual, manual and in-house method of determining customers’ creditworthiness depended on carrying out a few orders with a buyer, and making sure they were able to pay on time, before deciding to provide them with credit. While that approach works for a vendor with a short list of customers, it becomes unmanageable as a company grows. Resolve’s unobtrusive “quiet” [credit checks] formalized the process, lowering Trenchless Supply’s risk while ensuring customers that deserve credit get it.
Customers who don’t pay their bills after 30 days receive a 15 day grace period before the account goes to collections. Sanzone says he appreciates this, because it takes the burden of following up with collections from his company—one less thing to worry about. And it means that customers take their net terms more seriously, because they know they’ll receive a collection notice if they don’t pay on time.
In fact, Sanzone believes that having a respected third party like Resolve improves his company’s image and “clout” in the eyes of customers. Customers are less likely to take their net terms for granted, and more likely to take Trenchless Supply seriously, because of Resolve.
Finally, Sanzone says, one of the greatest assets Resolve has brought to the table is increased customer satisfaction. Checkout and payment work seamlessly, their invoices and other important documents are easily accessible through their account, and they can pay using a number of methods, including wire transfer. It’s a win-win.
Sanzone says Trenchless Supply is continuing to set up their existing customers with Resolve accounts. When Sanzone spoke with Resolve, Trenchless Supply was preparing for a major trade show, after which he said he expected their customer list to grow—and he was glad to have Resolve handling the new influx of orders.
One caveat, though. Sanzone says he would never recommend Resolve to anyone in his industry, for one simple reason:
“I wouldn’t recommend Resolve to anyone in my industry…why would I want to help my competitors?” -John Sanzone, Founder and CEO, Trenchless Supply
Trade secrets aside, Sanzone intends to continue putting all new customers through Resolve by default. With the speed at which the company is growing, eliminating the headache around manually managing accounts receivables, net terms, and collections will allow Trenchless Supply to focus on what they do best: facilitating sustainable underground infrastructure.