My name is Charles Armitage, I’m a Co-founder and CEO of Florence. We’re a technology company based out of London. We do a few things, but our main effort is we build the technology to power the social care workforce across the UK.
How do long payment terms impact Florence?
100%. It has a massive impact. Especially in the business we’re in, we have, cash flow is a really important consideration when thinking about what clients we can deal with and what deals we can make. Typically we think it’s very very important to make sure our workers, our Florence nurses and care workers are paid on a weekly basis, if not faster. And when dealing with large corporates you can be staring in the face of 30, 60 or sometimes even 90 day payment terms. Which, when we’ve got to wage bill every week of millions of pounds can have really significant cash flow impact.
Experiences with slow and late payments
One of my least favourite memories of Florence was back in the early days, when we were dealing with a large care corporate who were, who had long payment terms anyway, but were behind on their invoices. And we were doing our weekly pay runs to our nurses, and I remember I was visiting a care home frantically trying to chase down the Accounts Payable department of this massive corporate. They owed us hundreds of thousands of pounds and without that we weren’t going to be able to pay the workers which would have been absolutely disastrous for us. I definitely have lived experiences of the challenges of long payment terms from corporate clients.
Do payments terms affect your relationship with prospective clients?
Some of our best customers, who are getting the best value out of what we do are the ones who we have been able to solve some of these payment issues early on in the relationship. This has allowed us to grow our service with them very well, and ultimately save them a huge amount of money.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are some corporates that we have a big red mark next to them, we literally cannot work with because their payment terms are so unmovable. We pride ourselves on offering a very good service, but it’s also incredibly cost-effective for these clients.
Customers where we are able to have that really rapid cash flow management, we are then, in our platform, advertising those shifts to workers as Instant Pay shifts. Which ultimately leads to that customer having the best choice, you know, they’re the most appealing shifts within the platform. People want to pick up those Instant Pay shifts, so the customer gets a much better selection of people who can come and look after their residents.
What made you choose InstantPay?
Our experience of InstantPay has been great so far. Speaking to our Head of Finance, I think it took her a couple of minutes to fill out the appropriate forms and we were up and running in a few days. Operationally, it’s been really really smooth. We realise benefits from InstantPay very very quickly, from the moment we had our first conversations.
Why should corporates offer InstantPay?
Corporates out there who are thinking of using InstantPay should think about, it ultimately helps them form better, longer-term relationships with their suppliers. I firmly believe that people work better when they have a solid, ongoing, long-term relationship between customers and suppliers. That’s what ends up getting the best service for people at ground level. And it’s most definitely been something that’s helped us do that with a number of our customers.
What would you say to someone who is considering InstantPay?
I would say it’s a bit of a no-brainer from a supplier perspective. It really does make a massive impact to our ability to create a great service to our customers. So, if it’s something you’re thinking about, I would definitely consider going forward with it.