Finding cash flow confidence with BM Steel Group


min read

Finding cash flow confidence with BM Steel Group

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We sat down with Craig Silvain, Ecommerce Manager at BM Steel Group, to talk about how iwocaPay is set to increase cash flow, minimise the number of abandoned orders, and help nurture an growing customer base. 

Founded in 1877, BM Steel group has over 146 years worth of experience in steel stockholding. First established to serve Glasgow’s shipbuilding, engineering, and sugar refining companies, today, BM Steel group operates online and out of 15 depot locations across the UK, offering industry-leading support throughout the customer journey – from purchase to installation. 

The building sector is feeling the economic strain

The drop in both sales volumes and revenue, which started falling in the latter half of 2023, is set to continue causing disruption across the industry in early 2024. With an unpredictable housing market slowing down the number of new houses being built, developing a steady, reliable cash flow is essential for all businesses looking to continue delivering excellent customer service.

"Our data shows that 20% of all abandoned online orders are down to insufficient funds at the time of purchase”, says BM Steel’s Craig Silvain. 

He also noticed customers filling their baskets, but not finishing checkout – a very real reflection of the current economic outlook. Within the industry, it’s not uncommon for construction companies to order supplies before receiving any payment for the job, exposing them to huge risks if the job then gets cancelled. Particularly as each construction job requires bespoke materials cut to extremely specific measurements, which means they can’t be returned and can rarely be reused on other jobs. With a few competitors offering some form of credit online, Craig started thinking about how more flexible payment options might be the solution.

“We wanted to find a new way to give our customers more flexibility and more time to make the payments, without having to deal with the admin or credit risk.”

The answer came in the form of iwocaPay, which allows BM Steel to offer more competitive payment options to trade customers

“We’re the only one of our competitors offering this level of ease and flexibility”, says Craig. “With iwocaPay, customers can use up to £15,000 in instant credit and will have 90 days to repay the funds. We know that our buyers like to spread their payments, which is why many prefer to make their purchases through the depots to unlock that flexibility. Now, they can access even more credit on our website by signing up to iwocaPay in just a couple of clicks, and they have more time to get the cash from their job before they settle up.” BM Steel Group is also boosting its competitive advantage by choosing to give interest-free credit to all customers – an optional iwocaPay benefit to help businesses improve their checkout experience and increase purchase power.

Flexible payments means customers are more likely to put in larger orders

A natural incentive which will tie nicely into BM Steel’s new product strategy for 2024. “We have a lot of exciting products launching online this year, and iwocaPay’s hassle-free trade credit alternative is really going to help us market these effectively and increase our cash flow”, says Craig. Plus, there’s no need to chase down late payments. Once a customer has chosen to pay with iwocaPay, the funds are instantly transferred to BM Steel. “Security is so important to us. In the past, there have been times where we’ve had to wait 90 days for repayment. It’s a game-changer to know that now every time a transaction is made, we get paid immediately, and that iwoca will take care of any hassle with customer payment”. By eliminating the need for any back and forth with the insurance company, staff at all levels at BM Steel Group are free to get on with the important stuff.

“We get the money instantly, and our customers get more time to pay. It’s a win-win”.


Words by
Honor Payne
Article updated on:

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