It’s amazing how news travels fast across agricultural communities, possibly thanks to the tradition of great conversations between farmers and their local farm supplies dealer.
That may explain why so many dealers are hearing about – and signing up for – Scotiabank’s Yield More FinancingTM program, an indirect agriculture financing program that provides their farming customers with quick, efficient and convenient credit for seed, feed, fertilizer and other input purchases.
“Word has spread among dealers who choose us to deliver in-house inputs credit to their customers, including farmers, who are happy that our dedicated team serves them from planting season through harvest to final sale of their crop,” says Mike Schankula, Director and Group Lead, Scotiabank Indirect Ag Financing. “We’re the only financial institution in Canada that offers in-house financing for crop inputs, and we’re earning a reputation for our great service to both dealers and their valued customers.”
‘Growing pains’ for dealers and farmers:
When there’s time between sun-up and sun-down, farmers and dealers have plenty to discuss when they meet to select the upcoming season’s seed choices, fertilizer options and chemical mixes.
“For farmers, they see rising input costs and they know that, from the time they purchase those supplies through harvest time, it could be up to 18 months until they get paid and see a return on that investment,” observes Eleni Ladacakos, Senior Client Relationship Manager of Scotiabank’s Yield More Financing team.
Farm supply dealers also feel the farmers’ anxiety, since they want to provide farmers with credit to make those purchases, but they face the risk and administrative burden of managing an in-house credit program, in an industry known for uncertainty.
“These dealers operate in a very competitive retail market,” explains Schankula. “They must deliver exceptional service to their customers, including advice on crop yield strategies and the latest input innovations. And, part of the competitive market, is providing financial offerings as well, to service their customers better and increase their sales, without assuming additional risk.”
Yield More Financing reaps what it sows:
Fortunately, Scotiabank’s Yield More Financing program addresses these challenges, which explains its growing popularity with farm supply dealers and farmers from coast to coast.
This program is ideal for farmers since it matches their crop growing cycle. They can purchase the inputs they need and not make a payment or repay us until they’ve turned their crop into cash, up to 18 months later,” says Schankula. “After the farmer qualifies for the program, they simply pick up what they need at their dealer, without impacting their other operating lines of credit or cash on hand. It becomes a year-round revolving line of credit for each season’s needs.
For the dealer, Scotiabank helps them ‘yield more’ customer sales, while simplifying their accounts receivables, and reducing their cash flow and liquidity challenges.
Schankula explains, “We’re helping the dealers ensure that their customer has adequate funds to purchase all the inputs they need. Then, we’re transferring the credit risk from their books, since they get paid typically within one to two business days. We’re improving their working capital, and they can use the cash to expand their products, locations or staff, rather than waiting upwards of 90 days for their customer to pay an invoice.”
Ladacakos agrees: “By partnering with us to take care of the financing, a dealer can focus on serving their customers, offering advice and growing their revenue, instead of worrying about their books or making collection calls.”
Delivering great service together:
Ladacakos points out how the Bank emphasizes excellent customer service, to both dealers and their customers, through a dedicated team of Yield More Financing Specialists. “We make it easy to do business with us. Our team answers the phone right away and we understand the dealers’ and farmers’ priorities. Pretty quickly, we establish a relationship with each customer, and they recognize our voices the next time they call.”
And customers spread the word, notes Ladacakos. She recalls a client who ran a dealership and also farmed their lands: “In the past, they had offered input financing through a farm credit agency but were disappointed with the service. They decided to try Yield More Financing with a few of their customers, and also to finance supplies for their own farm. They loved the program and are now busy signing up more of their customers.”
Ladacakos notes how that client benefited from Scotiabank’s unique ability to offer one-stop access to any agricultural finance solution:
We are one of the only Canadian financial institutions that can provide the entire financial package to farmers and farm supply dealers. Our team of Yield More Financing Specialists can support a dealers’ or farmers’ needs for operating, term and input financing, and we can introduce them to our dedicated team of Agricultural Bankers for their other banking, borrowing, farm succession planning, equipment financing, leasing or other needs.
“Dealers are really good at serving their customers, including great advice on what seed to buy, what conditions to expect, and how to yield the most from their particular crop,” concludes Schankula. “We share that service philosophy, and we understand that we are servicing their valued customers. Word is spreading, about our winning formula to help them yield more.”