A welding and machining business for over 80 years, Capital Machine Co. has found a new source of cash flow through C2FO.
Nestled near the banks of the Missouri River, Capital Machine Co. has been a constant presence in Jefferson City, Mo., since 1933, when brothers Julius and Vince Kruse formed the business as a blacksmith shop.
The company has evolved into a machine shop and tools supplier specializing in projects that range from fabricating a massive river dredge to fixing a customer’s favorite piece of silverware. Much of Capital Machine’s business comes from industrial and supply work for railroads like Union Pacific. The company has a retail side as well. Longtime customers wander into Capital Machine’s storefront throughout the day to browse its large selection of tools, bolts, belts and bearings—much of it hardware that big-box retailers don’t provide.
Cash flow in just a few clicks
Fourth generation co-owner Sarah Cain, who manages Capital Machine’s daily operations with her husband, Andy, wasn’t seeking a new financial resource when Union Pacific informed her of its early payment program with C2FO. Capital Machine has a strong banking relationship and a line of credit that stretches back decades.
However, she quickly saw the advantage of accelerating payment on selected Union Pacific invoices, at discounts or APR rates that she could choose. Getting paid several days early rapidly improved Capital Machine’s cash flow while reducing its reliance on its credit line.
“The railroad is a third of our business, so they are a big chunk,” she said. “Having a third of our receivables paid in just a few days is huge. I don’t have to lean on our bank for the line as much as I used to… If anything, it makes me look like a better customer to them because I don’t need them as much.”
Cain, who admits to “not being tech-savvy,” marveled at how easy it is to use C2FO’s secure, online marketplace. With just a few clicks, she can view all her Union Pacific invoices, then choose which ones to receive early payment on.
“You log on and it says, ‘Union Pacific,’ and it tells you if your invoice is clearing or not,” she said. “If I need the money, I can bump up the APR a little and then it pops up green and says, ‘clearing.’ It’s as easy as that.”
Receiving payment in a timely fashion
Sarah and Andy Cain are the fourth generation to own and operate Capital Machine as the company approaches its 90th anniversary. Sarah’s parents, Mike and Tambra Kruse, remain involved in the business, but have handed off most of their duties.
Tambra Kruse, who has helped lead Capital Machine since the 1980s, said the company feels the strain common to many small businesses of serving longtime customers while meeting the payment demands of large suppliers. Early payment through C2FO eases that pressure, allowing Capital Machine to purchase larger quantities of steel and other parts from suppliers at a discount.
“To get your money in a timely fashion is a big plus,” Kruse said.