Success Story: How Van Linda Partnered With Billd to Take on Larger Projects and Strengthen Cash Flow

Published: October 20, 2021
Read time: 3 minutes

Van Linda Iron Works is an industrial and commercial metal fabrication contractor headquartered in Lake Worth, FL. With over 70 years of experience, they are a family-owned and operated business, offering full-service design-build metalworking. Van Linda performs both in-shop fabrication and on-site welding for structural steel. Their experience spans metal buildings, joists, and deck jobs, as well as façade welding for hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and more. 

Van Linda found themselves frequently paying vendors before receiving payment from clients. Because of this, they were forced to limit how many projects they could take on, pushing them to seek alternative financing options that negatively impacted customer relationships. Then, they discovered Billd. With Billd in their financial toolbox, Van Linda unlocked access to the cash flow they needed, alleviating the pressure to pay suppliers before projects were complete and empowering them to bid on, and win more major projects.

The Challenge: Insufficient Cash Flow Hindered Growth and Relationships

Upfront Costs & Unrealistic Payment Terms

Due to upfront costs like large material purchases, Van Linda was not able to take on the larger contracts they desired. When traditional bank financing did not pose itself as an easy option for them, Van Linda felt no other option but to turn to other financing options–a choice that strangled their business because repayment terms were nearly impossible to meet.

Additionally, when trying alternative financing solutions, Van Linda found these lenders would sporadically contact their customers directly demanding payment. Not only did this put contracts at risk, it was detrimental to Van Linda’s reputation.

As a result, Van Linda often found themselves negotiating with the project managers and owners of the primary contractors they work for, requesting a deposit or more flexible payment terms that could work for their small business enterprise.

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Increased Material Prices

When Van Linda fell behind on supplier term payments because of slow project remittance, they found themselves losing out on the best pricing from vendors, or at times worse–threatened to be cut off from supplier terms altogether.

Many suppliers require upfront payments, with 10% price increases if they don’t lock in quotes within 48 hours. With unpredictable payment cycles, Van Linda was forced to accept these material price hikes. This created a domino effect; Van Linda couldn’t be competitive with their own pricing if they were paying too much for metal.

The Billd Solution: 120-Day Terms & Upfront Payments

Billd’s payment solution immediately gave Van Linda access to funds with terms that mirror their repayment cycle. This enabled them to purchase materials upfront. Not only does this prevent costly price hikes, but now they receive cash discounts. The flexibility of longer terms also alleviated any pressure on Van Linda to seek early payment from GC’s or rely on merchant cash advances. 

Additionally, Billd understands the importance of staying on schedule, which is why their approval process moves quickly. Van Linda can now comfortably pay their suppliers without waiting on payments to come in from clients. 

“I was initially concerned with how quickly Billd would be able to pay my vendors because many of them required COD and I need the materials fast to stay on schedule. That concern went away quickly after both the approval process and the first material financing I did with Billd. It was a breeze.” Ashleigh Hernandez, President and CEO

This has led to many suppliers vying for their business as Van Linda is not only paying upfront but also taking on larger projects–they can now confidently hold their own in contracts over seven-figure mark. 

“With Billd we are able to keep a positive relationship with our suppliers and they want to give us the best deals. And now they are competing for our business.” Ashleigh Hernandez, President and CEO

“Previously I had used alternative financing options and it impacted relationships I had with a few GC’s. With Billd, there’s no such concern and in fact, I’m now getting material faster and more efficiently, so it’s only helped my relationships with my clients.” – Ashleigh Hernandez, President and CEO

About Billd

Billd was started by Christopher Doyle and Jesse Weissburg, industry veterans in both construction and finance. Chris and Jesse were inspired to launch Billd to bring the financial power of Wall Street to the construction job site, allowing contractors to bypass project hurdles with access to upfront funds while enabling suppliers to sell more materials with less risk. For contractors who usually aren’t paid until more than 90 days from purchasing materials, Billd provides 120-day terms so they can stabilize cash flow and more effectively grow their businesses. With a deep understanding of the construction industry, Billd knows traditional credit metrics are poor predictors for risk in this vertical segment and has built a variety of industry-specific proprietary analytic tools to better assess risk in the construction industry.

 

Russ Briscoe Headshot

Russell Briscoe Director of Contractor Partnerships, Billd

Russell Briscoe has consistently helped contractors improve their cash flow with Billd for over two years. He serves as a sounding board on how to take on larger, more complex commercial projects. With Briscoe’s guidance, thousands of contractors have successfully tackled inconsistent construction payment cycles. Briscoe previously managed sales teams within different SaaS and technology businesses, where his teams regularly hit or exceeded revenue and churn targets. His impressive career history includes stays at Dell, Globekick and Meltwater Group. Briscoe holds an MBA from UT McCombs School of Business, and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University.