Companies involved in imports are increasingly relying on outsourcing. This allows them to focus their resources on their core business with the assurance that their logistics processes are being managed by a team of experts.
“We previously offered importing companies many solutions in the supply chain process but we are now also able to offer a full end to end solution, from order placement to delivery in South Africa, and provide customers with one single Rand-based invoice, which has been termed our Start To Finish product,” says Meagan Rabe, Strategy and Solutions Manager: Business Banking at Sasfin.
Sasfin acts as a partner to clients managing the confirmation and tracking orders to financing both foreign and local payments to suppliers, hedging of foreign exchange risk, providing insurance cover, logistics services as well as final delivery and payment.
“We work closely with our clients, providing hands-on service, which differentiates us from other commercial banks,” explains Rabe. It is through these close relationships that Sasfin gains an in-depth understanding of their clients’ financial and cash flow requirements as well as their logistical needs. Sasfin places value against its clients’ stock - something commercial banks rarely provide. The working capital solution is also not an overdraft facility. It is designed to get the most out of the working capital cycle – by giving clients the financial breathing space between the cash-out and cash-in process of the cycle.
The depreciation of the rand has put major strain on companies in South Africa. Importers have become more cautious with what they import, the quantity imported and the price they are paying per unit. Hedging has become more popular to alleviate these financial constraints. Rabe explains that “Sasfin Forex offers a complete forex service for a forward contract to assist in the end-to-end process.”
Sasfin clients only get invoiced on the stock that they draw. Rabe explains that customers “are committed to taking the stock but we only charge them as and when the stock is drawn, with a single Rand-based invoice”. As a result of the 180-day facility, the client receives the benefit of stock purchased on a bulk order, at a lower price and this is not on their balance sheet. “In addition we have a relatively-high BEE rating which is a significant advantage to our customers,” she says.
Meagan Rabe, Strategy and Solutions Manager: Business Banking at Sasfin
Sasfin also has 100% share in Sasfin Premier Logistics (SPL) which, in the last year, opened a state-of-the-art warehouse facility in Pomona. This facility was the final component to the start-to-finish solution, providing Sasfin with the ability to store their clients’ stock in addition to the rest of the offerings in the import process.
The warehouse, conveniently located near OR Tambo International, is complemented by a second warehouse in Cape Town. The warehouses ensure that stock is safely stored with 24-hour surveillance, access control and security systems providing world-class security. Stock can be monitored via an online monitoring system which allows the client to view stock levels remotely. “Our warehouse in Cape Town is used as a staging area for sea consolidation and airfreight shipments. Further to this we use the warehouse as a transit shed for the import consolidations for Cape Town and Johannesburg cargo” says Paul Beaumont Thomas, Regional Manager for SPL in the Western Cape. Through SPL, Sasfin is the only trade finance house with its own forwarding agent and office in Hong Kong. Thomas adds, “We pride ourselves on our flexibility, safety and output”.
Sasfin’s expertise in the realm of imports, exports and logistics takes the burden of companies needing to commit precious resources and capital into processes that are often complex and difficult to execute. Through an in-depth understanding of its clients’ logistics and financial requirements, the Group creates a tailored solution that delivers on all its clients’ needs from start to finish.