#Immediacy on speech making

Clearly, if any of the credit business can be replaced by cash ...

Clearly, if any of the credit business can be replaced by cash sales then an improvement will be achieved.

One way to do this is to look for means of 'vertical integration'. This is the jargon term meaning widening your operations to do what your suppliers, or customers, do.

Boots PLC have a successful 'upwards' vertical integration, having moved from retailing alone to manufacturing some of the products that they sell in the shops.

This has the advantage of yielding greater profit since the 'price' they pay does not include the profit element which would otherwise be part of an outside supplier's price. Vertical integration 'downwards' can mean retailing yourself the products that you normally sell to middlemen. An example is the farm shop from which the farmer obtains immediate cash payment for his eggs, vegetables and meat.

The farmer, it must be pointed out, normally avoids one of the problems sometimes associated with downwards integration that of upsetting other, bulk, customers with who the company is now in competition. The farmer avoids this because his 'at the gate' shop is usually a long way from his other customers' outlets.

The problem of upsetting bulk customers can be exaggerated, but if a means such as selling in a different area, or under another name, can be found, it may be sensible to utilize it. Mail order may be another way to increase cash sales, provided it is done on a 'cash with order' basis. This method actually means having the cash before parting with the goods, thus completely reversing the situation.

It may, in addition, be possible to persuade bulk buyers to pay on receipt of-the goods by means of a discount. Care must be taken, however, not to overdo it, and the discount must be carefully calculated with the investment value of money in mind. Can invoices be sent earlier? Sending out invoices promptly after delivery of the goods or service is within the control of the business itself and is clearly the first step to take where credit is given. There should be no delays, for example, in waiting for an invoice to be printed some time after delivery.

This delay can be avoided by having a three-part set of forms, with the invoice as the top sheet and the copies constituting delivery note and receipt respectively. If required, the price can be obliterated on the delivery note and receipt by means of printers' ornaments, leaving date, description of goods and other data clearly carboned through. Using this method also avoids errors such as having a different quantity or description on the invoice which will give the customer a first-class arguement for delaying payment while his query is sorted out Saving even a day or two in the invoicing process can have a significant effect, especially at the end of the month. Many businesses have a regular monthly computer-run to process invoices received and prepare the payments due on them.

Missing this monthly run can mean having to wait a whole month or more before payment If a complaint is made to the customer, then back will come the answer, 'I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do as it's all on the computer.' The target should be to send out the invoice within 24 hours of receipt. of delivery, or completion of the service. Any longer means that money is being wasted. Can invoked amounts be smaller? A corollary of sending invoices earlier is the avoidance of putting two or more deliveries on one invoice.

Not only is time lost in holding up payment for the first delivery while the second is taking place, but the size of the debt may have a bearing on the speed of payment.

The reasons for this are: Many companies put high-value invoices through a ...

The reasons for this are: Many companies put high-value invoices through a more rigorous checking procedure which takes longer; Payments of large amounts may require approval... read more

You may feel you will, be losing 'a good customer', but this ...

You may feel you will, be losing 'a good customer', but this was something you lost when the debt became seriously overdue.

Good customers who do not pay ar... read more

The simplest, and easiest, way is to make your own copy invoices ...

The simplest, and easiest, way is to make your own copy invoices do the work, for you by placing them, visibly, in a container' marked with the