- 18 May
How Bibby Construction Finance Are Adapting To Lockdown
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Steve Taylor of Bibby Financial Services' (BFS), construction finance division via Microsoft Teams (MT). It was the first time I had used MT, but the video conferencing functionality is broadly similar to Zoom that we use regularly. There is definitely another dimension added by using video conferencing, rather than just the phone. It's as close as you can get to meeting in person at the present time.
Even after lockdown is lifted, there is a lot to be said for the time-saving convenience of video conferencing rather than travelling to meetings, especially now it has gained broad acceptance.
BFS Construction Finance
The construction finance division of BFS provides funding to businesses operating within the construction sector. They are very much still open for business, despite the lockdown, which will be a lifeline to construction companies as they return to work. Especially at this time, when many construction businesses may have used up their cash reserves to survive lockdown. Now that they have now got work to get on with, they may need funding to get their cash flow moving again.
Historically this was a sector that invoice finance companies didn't touch, but BFS have developed an industry leading offering that enables contractors and subcontractors to unlock the cash that is tied up in their applications for payment. These are widely used within the sector, instead of invoices. Added to that the nature of the building trade can be very contractual, so it takes expertise to be able to understand those contracts and still be able to provide funding.
Continuing To Operate Despite Lockdown
It was particularly interesting to hear some of the ways that BFS have adapted to operating within lockdown. They have integrated the the use of teleconferencing into their processes so that they can continue to service both new and existing customers with both their sales team and their credit controllers working remotely from home. Post is still regularly collected from their offices, but they have implemented other new efficient technologies to cut down on paperwork, such as a system for the electronic signing of customer agreements.
BFS have always been renowned for the amount of networking that they do with introducers and prospective customers, but they have adapted this to leverage the online environment during lockdown, e.g. participating in sector specific webinars. It just shows that there are still ways to do business, even during these difficult times. BFS is still very much open for business.