ECC Sprint Europe

CEES VAN WIJK - FINANCIAL DIRECTOR

"By the way, it should definitely also be mentioned that the people at Boozt24 also draw your attention to seemingly small things, such as taking another look at the delivery terms. Once drafted and then not changed, but also incredibly important for a good cash flow!"

About ECC Sprint Europe

ECC Sprint Europe B.V, located in the Limburg towns of Heerlen, Hoensbroek, and Sittard, is a warehousing and e-fulfillment company. "The strength of the company lies in providing cross-border e-fulfillment solutions. For the e-commerce industry - the webshops - from one of Europe's logistical hotspots," says Cees van Wijk, financial director of ECC Sprint Europe B.V.

ECC Sprint Europe B.V. started as such in 2019 from the privatization of the warehousing activities of a greeting card printer. Initially, it was greeting cards that the company kept in stock and delivered on order, but soon other products were added, now from B2C e-commerce companies, the webshops. The company has since grown to three locations, 2 in the municipality of Heerlen and 1 in Sittard, and also serves large e-commerce companies domestically and internationally.

Logistically, various services are possible, such as temporarily stocking and handling business-to-business orders for an e-commerce company. Or B2B activity, to direct delivery on behalf of that e-commerce company to the end customer, business-to-consumer, or B2C. In addition to the company's own webshop, think of orders coming in via platforms like Bol or Amazon. The latter is now the main activity of the Limburg-based company: as soon as consumers order products via the webshop of one of these companies. These orders are digitally received by ECC Sprint Europe B.V. and delivered on behalf of the end customer.

Serving the European and English market

ECC Sprint Europe B.V. benefits from its strategic location in South Limburg, with daily pickups from DHL Germany, achieving an 80% next-day delivery for the German market. Additionally, next-day delivery for the Belgian market is also easily achievable from this location. Foreign customers who prefer to have the European and English markets served by one fulfillment center choose Sprint. Partly driven by Brexit, the intensive collaboration between Sprint UK and ECC Sprint Europe B.V. has emerged, serving more and more companies.

From 2024, ECC Sprint Europe B.V. will also start shipping alcohol from one of its fulfillment centers, with the goods stored under suspension of excise duty. "Our company also, in collaboration with a partner, handles excise duty declarations for customs, which greatly relieves the client and prevents excise duty from being paid on products that are temporarily stored. While you don't yet know what you're selling from stock and to which country the product will be shipped."

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Challenge

Since its inception, the company has undergone tremendous growth. "Growth is great, but especially in the first few years, you need volumes to achieve margins. If you want to obtain a basic volume, you have to offer competitive rates," explains Cees. "However, banks want to see results, not discounts, creating a vicious cycle where you get a 'no' when you apply for working capital." Initially, the company relied on crowdfunding to attract external capital to realize its plans.

As the basic volume gradually reached the desired level, the company encountered a second problem: customer payment behavior. While customers paid correctly within set payment terms. The company's own expenses, such as shipment invoices, often had to be paid earlier, increasing the need for working capital.

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Solution

Although the desired amount was achieved within a few days through the aforementioned crowdfunding, this method of capital acquisition is not a structural solution. ECC Sprint Europe B.V. therefore decided to explore whether factoring could offer a solution. At the end of 2022, the company came into contact with Boozt24. A team that thought along, had short lines for questions, and offered a platform to which the company's own administration could easily be linked, made the choice easy. "Since the beginning of this year, Boozt24 has been providing a portion of our company's working capital," says Cees.

"By the way, it should definitely also be mentioned that the people at Boozt24 also draw your attention to seemingly small things, such as taking another look at the delivery terms. Once drafted and then not changed, but also incredibly important for a good cash flow!"

The Result

Boozt24: an ideal partner for working capital financing

ECC Sprint Europe B.V. considers it crucial to have working capital, not only for daily operations but also to realize future plans. One of the plans is to centralize all activities in a new building in Kerkrade. In order to work even more efficiently and sustainably. In this regard, the company now advises all its customers on the type of packaging material to use and offers them the option of choosing custom-made boxes to prevent the transport of air. Currently, a CO2 surcharge is already calculated on returns, but in the future, the company aims to focus even more on offering a second chance for goods that are returned.
Cees van Wijk
Financial director

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