National Manufacturing Summit 2023

Alternative Finance

Employing over 250,000 people, the manufacturing industry accounts for 32% of Ireland’s GDP – making it one of the most critical sectors of the Irish economy.

The industry’s flagship event is the National Manufacturing Summit. Held in the RDS on May 23rd – 24th,  InvoiceFair Head of Sales Garry Holligan delivered a thought provoking presentation to a highly engaged audience.

Garry’s topic was “Funding Manufacturing Projects in a Turbulent World”. One of Ireland’s most prestigious Conference & Exhibitions, the Summit attracts upwards of 4,000 delegates across the 2 days each year.

The topic Garry spoke about was “Funding Construction Projects in a Turbulent World“.


National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Summit 2023
Garry Holligan speaking at the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Summit 2023


There has been a ‘softening’ of interest in funding Manufacturing Projects from more traditional funders over the past couple of years. This is due to a number of factors:

  • Global events like COVID-19 and the Ukranian War
  • Increased supply costs
  • Increased transportation costs
  • Supply scarcity
  • Extending credit terms
  • Increasing Variation Costs
  • Increasing Interest Rates


All of these have impacted on the overall profitability of manufacturing projects, meaning that manufacturers need to get familiar with some key financial tools that everyone involved in managing complex manufacturing projects should use in order to manage their projects effectively and, more importantly, profitably.

While the topic may seem very elevated, Garry brought the audience through some basic financial principles and explained:

If you don’t have a handle on some basic financial principles, a dynamic financial strategy plus a reliable source of funding, even the most successful companies are at risk of failure.

He went on to explain 2 specific financial tools that are key to effectively project management today.

The Cash Conversion Cycle

The CCC is a formula that measures the amount of time it takes to:

1. Purchase supplies

2. Turn those supplies into a completed project

3. Collect payment from your customer for that project


The CCC formula determines how efficient a company is at managing its working capital.


Cash Conversion Cycle


Companies that have learned to reduce their Cash Conversion Cycle have more cash on hand and can therefore take on more projects and grow their businesses faster.

Establishing a precise CCC can be quite complex; However, to give the audience a simple guide of how you compare globally, Garry explained that InvoiceFair created this simple calculator and encouraged everyone to do 2 calculations – using the average times from before Covid-19 and now, to see what direction you are trending in.

Calculate your CCC and see how you compare

Average No. of days to get your product from order to delivered to customer

Average No. of days credit your customer takes to pay you

Average No. of days credit your suppliers extend to you

You have a CCC of X days and rank in the category

Peak Funding Requirement

Across the life of any manufacturing project, the requirement to fund things like supplier costs, labour, raw materials and expenses ebbs and flows, before the project is completed and fully paid for.

The point at which the highest amount of cash is required and the length of time it is required for during the life of a given project is known as the Peak Funding Requirement.

Garry brought everyone through an example based on real life data:


Example of Peak Funding Requirement


In this example, we see that the value of a ‘like for like’ the project has increased by 10%. So this company has actually managed to get an increased commitment from their customer. However, a number of things have changed. Raw materials have increased by over 25%, overheads and salaries by 10% (modest – in reality probably a lot higher given energy cost increase).

The impact of this on gross margin is significant – the same project even with an increase in budget is now making €50,000 less, which has a dramatic effect not only on profitability but also on cashflow. They are now having to finance a significant increase in peak funding at a lower gross margin.

If we say – again conservatively – that it is now taking 90 days to get materials landed and there is evidence that the customer is now stretching payment terms from 30 to 45 days; this means that this company now has a peak funding requirement of 385,000 for 130 days. They need to find funding for an extra 100,000 for an additional 39 days!

So how can we help?

Armed with this information, you are in a much better position to understand what your Peak Funding Requirement on any given project is and for how long you will need working capital finance.

Because of the high costs of traditional funding, the Manufacturing industry has been actively searching for alternative approaches. Today, there are three distinct alternatives with a few flavour varieties:

  1. Early Payment Discounts
  2. Invoice Finance
  3. Supplier Finance


Banks and Traditional Funders can put manufacturing-related businesses into the risky-borrower bucket – even more so in current times. Alternative Funders like InvoiceFair offer a more dynamic method of financing manufacturing projects.


  • Specialists in Working Capital analysis and solutions
  • Experienced team of Financial Services Professionals
  • Secure lines of Funding
  • Speed (24 hours decisioning, 48 hours onboarding and 24 hours to receive funds)
  • Data Analytics
  • Sectoral expertise
  • Track record of supporting growing business
  • Discreet

InvoiceFair provide a range of innovative funding solutions for businesses that can release cash at every stage in the credit cycle. So you can get access to funding when you need it most – during the project and not after it is completed! We do not require personal guarantees from Directors, we don’t implement debtor or geographic concentration limits and funds are released within 24 hours once approved.

Want to learn more about InvoiceFair and how our range of alternative finance solutions could give your business the freedom to fund your own future? Contact us here.

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