Custom Problem Solving for Tanks
One of the largest international oil and gas services companies lost a portion of their business and turned to Matlack Leasing to aid them in getting it back.
Our customer’s customer required a tank equipped with a full handrail system (a non-standard item) and they needed it within four (4) business days.
Matlack produced a video clip of a handrail system we had implemented for another customer and sent it for review. The tank was in good condition and recently repaired, but waiting on an updated test certificate. It would work! We could get a 12-month lease, PROVIDED we could deliver it on Monday. This was already Wednesday.
Matlack coordinated closely with the depot, which understood the urgency of the deal, and got it thru their shop and out in two (2) days. The carrier picked up the unit and drove it over the weekend 1200 miles for an on-time delivery. Hooray! We won the deal and a very happy customer.
Of course we hope all this extra effort will lead to new opportunities, but for Matlack Leasing we also take pride in problem-solving for our customers and supporting America’s efforts in a global industry.
Superior Customer Service, Beyond Equipment Leasing
Matlack Leasing is working with customers to improve billing and payment communications and is willing to implement customer specific accounting practices.
A multinational manufacturer of chemicals and pigments for consumers and industrial customers had tank trailers on lease at locations throughout the USA. The customer’s accounting was handled at a central location. After many months spent on accounts receivable discussions and sorting out delinquencies, Matlack’s accounting personnel had a conversation with the customer in order to identify the cause of these delays and find a solution.
We learned that the customer had implemented an internal cost allocation program that required assigning separate profit and loss responsibilities for each location. All of the locations on each invoice for equipment had to approve the invoice before the payment could be processed. Changes often resulted in delays. There were changes to Purchase Orders (P.O.s), budgetary responsibility changed from one cost center to another location, and personnel changed and the appropriate person (or people) did not receive the information or communication needed in for them to process the order and approve payment. We worked with our client to open regular channels of communication thus ensuring that our invoices were getting to the correct people and had all of the information required so that our invoices could be processed quickly and without issue.
In addition, Matlack revised our in-house invoicing, setting up each location as a separate “customer” in order to automate the cost allocation by location. The customer did their part and provided a central billing contact person to coordinate the approval process with location. They also looked to coordinate payment processing so that it would proceed in a timely manner.
The result was more efficient payment processing and reduced overhead costs associated with accounting transactions.
Equipment Leasing and Hands-on Service
When you’re a worldwide distributor of chemicals and plastics, you need to focus on your people and your customers. Outsourcing non-core administrative functions like invoicing and billing allows you time to complete the essential tasks for your business. But sometimes, the professional services you hire have their own way of doing business.
Payments from our customer had fallen behind, resulting in the customer spending time on our calls for receivables, answering questions on billing and vendor payments, and being at risk to incur late fee charges. This is exactly what they had expected to avoid by hiring a 3rd party payment processor.
Matlack’s in-house accounting staff took the initiative to speak with this customer in an effort to find a satisfactory solution for both sides. Together, we identified that the 3rd party payment vendor wasn’t telling their customer (and ours) that the vendor was behind in processing payments. As a result, when payments were processed and the customer was notified of the payment, it was too late to record the payment in the proper accounting period. This caused issues between the customer’s accounting and operations groups. We advised our customer of the late payments highlighting an issue with this vendor.
Matlack worked with the customer and their 3rd party vendor to improve payment-processing communications and to ensure more timely payment processing. Communication and a willingness to work hands-on with the customer resulted in faster payments and improved relationships between us and the employees of this chemical distributor.