Business funding helps Plastic Card Services export and invest

Plastic Card Services Case Study
Tim Holt, Director

Cheshire-based manufacturer, Plastic Card Services (PCS), is set to expand into new export markets and increase staff numbers after securing a flexible funding facility from Bibby Financial Services.

PCS manufactures loyalty, bank and gift cards at its purpose-built factory in Macclesfield, with two further sites in Nottingham and Leicester, employing 60 staff across production, operations and sales.

Directors Tim Holt and Rob Nicholls established PCS in 1993 using their experience in the plastic card market, and over the past 21 years the business has grown from a home start-up to a £4.7million turnover company. It has expanded its operation overseas in the past five years, currently exporting to Scandinavia.

In 2010 PCS saw a significant lift in sales due to an increasingly competitive retail market where the number of retailers introducing loyalty cards for customer retention jumped, and the use of paper gift vouchers diminished. Tim and Rob needed to increase their finance facility quickly so they had cash available to service the increasing number of orders, but their previous finance provider was not able to respond promptly and threatened the company’s ability to grow.

Tim said: “Since starting PCS we had always worked with the same bank and had never been overdrawn, so when we requested an increase of funds we hadn’t envisaged any problems. Unfortunately the process of trying to increase the facility was so arduous we were put under a lot of pressure and our cashflow started to dry-up.

“We immediately looked elsewhere for better customer service. I wanted to make sure the business Rob and I had worked so hard for was not going to be put at risk again. We approached Bibby Financial Services and since we moved we have received excellent service.”

Bibby Financial Services quickly put in place an invoice discounting facility, which releases cash tied-up in unpaid invoices. PCS continued to grow and two years later the company found itself cash rich and again needed to review the finance facility.

Tim continued: “Towards the end of 2013 we only needed funding for day to day working capital so invoice finance was more than the business required. Bibby Financial Services suggested we move toFlexidraft which fits the business really well, as we only pay for the funding we need, as and when we need it. It’s great to work with a finance provider that has spent time getting to know PCS and can recommend the best type of funding for us.

“We can now focus on expanding our export horizons in Europe and developing our product portfolio, knowing the business is funded in the most efficient, cost effective way. The funding we have in place will enable us to invest in both staff and equipment, which will help us to grow even more.”

Flexidraft is a flexible funding service which gives businesses greater control over funding costs. There is no monthly contract or fixed fees and businesses are only charged for the funds they use.

Nick Kindon, MD for Bibby Financial Services in the North West, said: “We work closely with businesses to make sure they are always using the best and most cost effective product for their needs, which does not distract them from their focus on securing growth. We also recognise the importance of speed; the business world moves quickly and SMEs need funders to act accordingly.

“PCS is a great example of a company that has built a solid platform for its UK business, and is now in a position to grow into foreign markets with a suitable finance solution, such as Flexidraft in place.”