Every transport business knows managing cashflow is crucial, in an industry where margins are so tight. A decade ago, NSW company Computertrans found a cashflow weapon that has allowed it to grow: partnering with ScotPac.
This NSW business has 110 vehicles on the road and transports and installs high-value freight and equipment, including linac accelerators that deliver radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients. “This will be the biggest year that we’ve had in the medical sector,” says Cheryl Armour, co-founder of the group.
Computertrans uses two ScotPac facilities to help manage cashflow while it grows: a Debtor Finance facility that provides an on-demand line of credit, and an Equipment Financing facility that funds machinery and vehicle purchases. “The ScotPac relationship lets us run our business with confidence,” she says.
Delivering the goods
Cashflow certainty has allowed this NSW family business to adapt to changing markets and grow from a one-truck operation into an industry leader.
When Cheryl Armour says Computertrans is a family business, she means it.
Her son, three nephews and her son-in-law all work in the NSW transportation group. Then there are employees such as her CEO, accounts manager and HR manager, who have all been with Computertrans for more than 15 years. “We really do know the people we employ,” says Cheryl, key principal and co-founder of the business. “They’re all family.”
Founded in 1988 in Sydney, Computertrans has grown from humble beginnings into an enterprise with 57 employees that operates a national network of transport, warehousing and distribution services. The business is best known for transporting and installing high-value, sensitive freight and equipment.
Cheryl says the business happened by chance. Husband Rob had been a truck driver for Grace Express, which was owned by the department store Grace Bros, before all drivers were laid off. “We were left with no alternative but to go out on our own. We started with one truck and at the moment we’re running about 110 vehicles on the road.”
Clearing hurdles to achieve potential
Computertrans has shown its agility and ability to adapt. The business has overcome market changes and the flow-on effects from international and state border closures that have disrupted its clients’ movement of goods during the pandemic.
In recent years, an increasingly cashless society has led to a drop-off in demand for the transportation and installation of ATMs, once a strong niche service for Computertrans. However, the business is growing in other areas, including in the medical sector, where it transports and installs linac accelerators that deliver radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients.
“We could see the ATM decline coming and our biggest sectors now are medical and IT relocations and other special projects,” Cheryl says. “This will be the biggest year we’ve had in the medical sector.”
While Computertrans has a large investment in vehicles and infrastructure, Cheryl says at its core the business is all about people – from technicians, drivers and tradespeople through to administration and management staff. “As a family business, people come first.”
Cashflow pain relieved, opportunity unlocked
Just as Computertrans values family, it recognises the importance of strong partnerships with external advisors. That’s why, since 2011, it has used ScotPac to unlock opportunity in Computertrans by improving the business’s management of cashflow and working capital. “That’s made a real difference to our day-to-day operations.”
Computertrans has two finance facilities with ScotPac. The first is a Debtor Finance facility that provides an on-demand line of credit that is secured by one or more outstanding sales invoices. The second is an Equipment Financing facility that funds the purchase of business equipment, machinery and vehicles. It is ideal for companies seeking flexible financing to expand operations and improve productivity.
Cheryl says there is no doubt ScotPac has eased Computertrans’ cashflow headaches because of their flexible and tailored approach. “We know, for instance, that if it comes to a Friday afternoon and we need $5000 quickly, then ScotPac will forward fund us the money,” she says. “That lets us run our business with confidence.”
Cheryl also appreciates the supportive relationship and consistency of service ScotPac brings to the table. “We’ve been with ScotPac for many years and we’ve always had a good rapport with their team. We’ve only ever had two account managers in 10 years, which means they know our business and if we need something, they just get on to it.”
Evidence of this can be seen in ScotPac’s approach to going the extra mile to support the important relationship Computertrans has with its own clients. It’s a real partnership, focused on success for all parties. “The beauty of having had such a long partnership with ScotPac is that we know each other’s businesses so well and there’s a great amount of mutual trust between us.”
A growth mindset
Computertrans has retired debt in recent years and is focusing on lifting its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) through a new sales push. “We want to grow the business and target new markets,” Cheryl says. “Our aim is for about 10 per cent year-on-year growth for the next five years.”
One of the tools that will help achieve such a goal is the ScotPac portal which allows Computertrans’ finance team to access real-time business data related to remittances, outstanding invoices and other financial matters. “The portal is really good,” Cheryl says. “You see financial transactions instantly and if we haven’t received a remittance, we can chase it up straight away.”
With ScotPac in their corner, Cheryl says she and her team are confident Computertrans can thrive for another three decades. She says she’d recommend ScotPac to any business looking for a smart solution to support growth and manage working capital.