Having convenient access to equipment finance through NAB helped bulk material supplier and transport company EMM Group jump at an opportunity.
In equipment-intensive businesses, having fast and convenient access to finance provides flexibility that can improve business results.
It’s a fact that Andrew Halloran, owner of EMM Group, which supplies quarry, soil, garden and construction materials, as well as bulk transport services, knows well.
EMM Group, based in Echuca in northern Victoria, has an extensive fleet of Kenworth trucks and other machinery.
“We keep the trucks for five years and at the end of that period, we turn them over and bring on new ones,” said Halloran.
“Generally, after five years, the lease payments are still less than repairs and maintenance on a long-term plan.”
Ongoing delays in international supply chains have meant Halloran has had to order trucks and equipment 18 to 24 months in advance of when he needs them. He has some trucks on order that are due to arrive in 2023.
So, when the Kenworth dealer in local Shepparton called with a cancelled order that would allow Halloran to replace two of his trucks immediately, he was keen to consider.
Halloran knew that if he hesitated, the dealer would have no trouble in selling the vehicles to another customer and he would lose the opportunity.
His first step after receiving the dealer’s offer was to contact NAB Equipment Finance Specialist Craig Taylor. Halloran has been using NAB for equipment finance for about 12 years, having been introduced to the bank by his business accountant.
“Andy picked up the phone to me and said, ‘I need some advice here. What do you think Craig?’” said Taylor.
As an equipment finance specialist, Taylor’s role is to provide guidance on structuring terms for equipment finance that suit the equipment’s type and expected lifespan.
“We went through the truck dealer’s offer over about a 20-minute conversation and we couldn’t see any negatives,” said Taylor.
“I emailed Andrew some funding options following our due diligence checks as to what repayments would look like. He went away and had a chat to his accountant to work out whether the numbers stacked up.”
Within 24 hours, Halloran had made a decision and secured the trucks.
“It was a major win for us at the time and put us in a good position with the workload we had,” Halloran said.
“It means we can use our own internal trucks and not have to be subbing work out. We can keep control of our incoming work and keep our revenue internal.”
Keeping the wheels turning: the benefits of pre-approval
What allowed the deal to proceed so quickly was that EMM Group had finance pre-approval in place with NAB.
Businesses like EMM Group can apply for pre-approval on funding to buy or lease vehicles and equipment up to an agreed master limit each year.
NAB Business Banking Manager, Martin Kearney – who also helps EMM Group with its banking needs – says best practice is for businesses to sit down each year with their accountant and banker to map out their capital expenditure for the year, along with the timing of any equipment purchases and disposals to identify peaks and troughs for the finance facility.
They can then determine a limit that would cover the expected purchases and a buffer to provide flexibility.
“The beauty of having those preapproved limits is that you can make the most of opportunities that come up. It doesn’t matter if it’s trucks, mobile crushing plant and equipment, or earth moving plant – if you see an opportunity, you’re ready to go. You don’t have to sit around and wait for approval,” Kearney said.
As the vehicle Halloran was looking to purchase was within the preapproved limits for EMM Group, he could be confident that he would have finance available to cover the purchase when he needed it – without having to reapply and provide additional paperwork.
Involving NAB bankers in the planning process over the years – along with the managers and business accountant – has consistently helped EMM Group to get great outcomes, Halloran said.
“We all know how to push forward and to make it work. If it wasn’t for the insight that NAB has into my business, it would be a lot more difficult,” he says.
“Craig has been exceptional because of his experience in the transport industry, but also having a firm understanding of our business, our requirements, and the best way to structure the finance for the plant and equipment.”
Taylor says it’s the close relationship between NAB and EMM Group, built on mutual trust and understanding, that allows the bank to provide the best deal to the customer on finance.
Kearney agrees: “It’s making sure everyone is on the same page, so we know what’s coming up and when the customer does want something, we can jump on it straight away.”