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out of state corp. offices paying contractors

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yellowsnow, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. yellowsnow

    yellowsnow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 25

    I have, without prior knowledge, landed an account that sends all invoices across the US to thier corporate office to be processed and then paid. They are already late this month (1st invoice). Last year I had major problems with a different company and never got paid until june for snow removal. How can I speed up payments from companies that pay thier contractors from an out of state office? I cannot deal with what I did last year again, especially since thier Dec. bill is already approaching 3K, I depend on somewhat timely payments to pay my employees and expenses.
  2. 3bladz

    3bladz Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    First of all make sure you are sending them invoices with invoice #'s. Most won't pay from a statement.
  3. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I have 2 accounts that pay from thier corporate offices. One takes 60 days from the time of the statement to pay and the other takes 90. Since the statement goes out at the end of the month it can add an additional 15-30 days to the above after the actual plow event. It is just something that I've learned to accept. I have been servicing both accounts for over 10 years and have tried everything to get them to pay faster, but have been unsuccesful. I have just learned to accept it. It's kind of nice getting that last check in the middle of the summer. I don't even consider them slow pays, since its just the way they do business.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I have one that is just about the same as JMR's in the beginning I was concerned about being payed too. But every thing works out fine it just takes a while to get paid.
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    You are just 1 person of many that they are waiting 90 days to pay.
    Think of it , they are floating large dollars for 3 months , with no interest.
    That 3 months of working capitol for free , wouldnt you love to have a 100,000 dollars to work with every three months at no cost to you .

    We install Irrigation systems , I have had builders want me to do work for them and they tell me they pay in 90 days. I have a simple solution for that , I wrote a contract for the work and a loan agreement for using my money for 90 days at commercial interest rates . I had a check in my hand 3 days later .
  6. little pat

    little pat Member
    Messages: 83

    Have them pay a minimum of 2 storms in advance, then bill them for each storm. Use the advance like an escrow account taking money out to pay expences. Then as they pay, replenish the escrow account.
  7. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Is it possable that the account can direct deposit the funds to your bank account? I have 2 parking lots i plow for one company and their headquarters are out of state, but they suggested to me for faster payment to get set up on their direct deposit, It has been great!!!, No more late payments!!! Good Luck!!!!:waving:
  8. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    if you take credit cards that works great for this. had a mowing account that would pay on 90 days talked to them set them up for auto bill on a company card end of every month. no more late payments.
  9. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Its part of dealing with commercial accounts..

    I have commerical accounts setup on Net terms from 30-190days.

    Have an account with Kodak. Payment for monthly invoices every 190 days at 1 1/2% per month interest. They have a $500,000+ per year account with me.

    Learn to deal with it. Personally I love it, because I always have money coming in and cannot spend it until I get it.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    The way I got around it was to get the account on a flat fee / month.

    Then I send out the invoice at the beginning of the month for that month's work. For example, December's invoices are sent out December 1st.

    This way, the companies that take 30 days to pay, I still get on the first of the month.

    If I waited until January 1st to bill for December, I'd be getting December's money in February.

    All I know is that my bank or credit cards don't like it when I'm 30 days past due.

    I HAVE had companies in the past that took 120 days or more, but I added an extra 20-25% onto the rate that I would normally charge.

    I have them for a year or two, but then they find someone that's willing to wait that long for their money. Personally I don't like others using my money.
  11. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    For any large accounts I will offer a 2 to 3 percent discount for net 10 day payment terms. When billing I will fax a copy of the work orders and statement before mailing it out, be sure to address it to the correct department or accounts payable. It works every time for me.
  12. TLC Ken

    TLC Ken Member
    Messages: 47

    I feel that pain

    Iv'e been doing a Staples store here since it was built in 1997. 3 years ago they moved all their exterior maintenance to an outside company. They are a huge pain in the ass, requiring contracts they write that you can't change, forms you have to fill out telling them about your equipment,service times, service radius distance, insurance riders, (this year it took four tries to get them correctly listed as loss payee, my agent was quite grumpy)

    Then, on top of that, you need a signed form for each service, even though we are done with their lot before they open, and invoices have to be sent every 10 days or they won't be paid at all. They have stated in their contracts that they won't be charged interest or any fees, only the price for the service.

    The first company (daystar) took 19 months to pay the 6g for two winters. This year they've switched to Dentco, and so far they have been a little better to deal with. My biggest gripe is you never speak to the same person twice. You get one guy to "sell" you the contract, one guy for insurance, a girl to fax them back to, another two or three to send invoices to, two more that call and nag you if the invoices are not right (even if they are), one person to okay it for payment, and another to send payment. I wish I was exaggerating. It makes it very hard for smaller outfits like mine without a secretary.

    To make it okay, they pay about 180 dollars per snow for a 60 dollar lot. We ATV plow their sidewalks in about 4 minutes and charge them $100. They have fixed prices for different events (which I don't usually do), but every time the Grizzly runs up the sidewalk, we charge $100. Most of my lots would get a free pass now and then on a slow day without much snow, or if the mag chloride prevented accumulation. We're lucky here because there is not another plower in town who would even call them back after hearing all the hoops to jump through. The contracts also state which type of salt I am supposed to use, sodium chloride for sidewalks and entrances (they fear the city's reprisal for the wrong salt, I guess) and calcium chloride for private sidewalks. Again, I wish I was kidding. I use mag chloride for lots and if they ever send out a forensic chemist, they will find out and not pay me for breach of contract.

    If you have the time and they call to set up during the off season, it can be worth it, especially if you are the only local plower professional enough to handle the hoops. But do not try and deal with a huge hassle like that within a month or two of plowing season. You will hate yourself, trust me.
  13. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Same situations I've been in, if the original company only knew they could save money by doing a little paperwork themselves.... :dizzy:
  14. Laughterman

    Laughterman Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    We have a few larger commercial accounts that all have different payment systems. Most are pretty good at paying within 30-45 days despite our net 15 payment terms. I've found that detailed invoices are key to getting them quickly approved for payment. There are a couple that have responded to our finance charge after 30 days policy. It helped to speed up payment when they get the their next statement and there is a finance charge on there. We have one that will pay us with in 60 days unless we call them every month to check the status of payment at day 25 or so. Then we get a check two days later. Each company is different so you just have to try a few different things to see what works with them. We had one that had a check cutting cycle close on the 25th. We would send out our invoices the 29th so we were missing the date for another four weeks. All invoices in by the 25th would get paid the 10th. Now we invoice them and them only on the 23rd so they get the invoice, approve it, and have it in the system by the 25th so we get paid 30 days faster. Most of our invoices are sent by email now and that has sped up payments from some customers. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
  15. SnowIsGood

    SnowIsGood Junior Member
    from eastern
    Messages: 14

    Payment "helpers"

    This is tedious but well worth the effort - When you send in your invoice attach copies of your "check-ins", service records, anything you keep on servicing your sites or submit regarding services provided by your company. This puts everything in front of them to quicken the payment process. It does not hurt to pay a couple of more dollars and submit your invoices via certified mail. This ensures they got it and also shows/establishes that you are a detailed record keeper. Anything that you can do to make it easy for the person on the other side to make the "check n' balance" process easier will speed up payment. Also make sure you keep records/copies of everything you've submitted for payment.