Case Studies

Providing working capital for a transport business

Lombard Express is a Kettering-based business employing 30 staff, established in 1992 by husband-and-wife team Andy and Denise Dawkins. The family-run business operates an extensive fleet of articulated vehicles transporting pallets of goods from across Northamptonshire to a Midlands hub for onward distribution throughout the UK. They also offer a collections service from the hub for distribution across Northamptonshire, ensuring efficient use of fuel and providing a cost-effective distribution solution to numerous local businesses.

In 2008, Lombard Express was suffering as the recession kicked in and demand for distribution fell. Knock-on effects of this were still being felt in 2013 and the company needed some additional short-term funding. The situation was not helped by an ongoing dispute over an Interest Rate Hedging Product (IRHP). Richard Miner of FD Solutions was recommended to Lombard by the business support team at Barclays. A further complication emerged that needed to be addressed: the company had a £1m term-loan due for repayment in 2014, putting the owners under even greater pressure.

With Richard’s help, Lombard Express was able to stabilise the short-term position by securing an important injection of capital through ThinCats.com, an online peer-to-peer lending platform. Interest on the loan was less than HMRC surcharges that the company was facing for late payment. The company was also able to reach a relatively speedy settlement of its IRHP dispute, which has left the business in a much stronger position financially.

With FD Solutions’ ongoing help, the company is now looking to refinance its business mortgage and is currently reviewing a number of alternative banks from a position of strength – the plan to pay off a substantial part of its debt in the short to medium term, forms part of Lombard’s future financial strategy.

Denise Dawkins of Lombard Express said: “It has been a difficult few years with the responsibility we feel as employers of 30 staff. We have completely changed how we think and work our business. By improving our financial management it has freed us up to focus on driving the business forward and we’ve seen 30% growth over the past two months. Richard has been amazing, never ducking a challenge, giving us his professional opinion undaunted by the fact that he has a husband and wife team to convince! It hasn’t been easy but we have turned a corner and are feeling much more optimistic about the future. We couldn’t have done it without Richard’s help.”