Darcy Associates Ltd

Darcy Associates LogoDarcy Associates is a specialist construction recruitment business based in Bristol. Launched in May 2015, the company’s founder Nathan Ferris set out to fill a gap in the construction recruitment market for a specialist agency that focuses exclusively on Trade and Labour roles.

When starting the business, Nathan appointed Simplicity as the recruitment finance provider for the newly launched Darcy Associates. The partnership continued throughout the company’s first full year of trading. After 12 months, Darcy Associates were keen to explore further finance options and a mutual decision was made to move away from Simplicity to work with a more traditional factoring funding model.

However, their new relationship became fraught with frustration. As Darcy Associates continued to grow they became increasingly dismayed by their lack of critical weekly cash, caused by the restrictive funding caps and concentration limits imposed by the factoring model they had chosen to work with.

This was not only restricting the amount of funding they could access, it also slowed their rate of growth drastically.  This prompted Darcy Associates to end their contract with the factoring company. They hadn’t benefitted from the better cash flow, lower costs and increased control over their business that was promised. They decided to move their business again – to another finance company, running a basic factoring solution, without expertise in the recruitment market.

Darcy Associates encountered the same cash flow and growth issues here too – poor credit control, suffocating funding caps, concentration limits, and a service that led to a lack of confidence as to whether their payroll obligations would be met each week.

One of the worst things for Nathan, founder of Darcy Associates, was the lack of urgency in chasing outstanding invoices. 

“Credit control was almost non-existent, meaning I would spend hours each day as an expensive credit controller, calling clients about payments, rather than increasing our business with them. It was an absolute nightmare and not what I was promised.”

By Nathan Ferris, Darcy Associates Ltd

The knock-on effect of poor credit control meant that debt aged quickly, exceeding 90 days, eating up credit and funding limits on clients and causing cash reserves every week which made it impossible to grow.

As demand continued to increase, so too did the urgency for Darcy Associates to address the issues they were experiencing with their current finance provider – issues that were already beginning to drain their time and resources, and could present even bigger problems further down the line if left unchecked.

Darcy Associates recognised that a change of finance provider was essential if it was to realise both its short and long term growth ambitions

Having gone into the market previously and working with two non-specialist finance providers, they knew exactly what they needed. Nathan wanted to work with a specialist recruitment finance provider who truly ‘gets’ the recruitment industry and one that can provide a flexible finance solution that encourages rather than hinders their growth.

After 9 months away, Darcy Associates re-appointed Simplicity as their Growth Partner – a decision that founder Nathan Ferris says he is “very, very happy about.”  

The renewed partnership with Simplicity has, in Nathan’s own words, given Darcy Associates “the much-needed confidence to continue pushing the business forward knowing that our temps will be paid on time, every time.”

Indeed, in just 24 months the company has increased its headcount to a team of five consultants and already surpassed the £1 million in billings mark.

A key benefit reported by the business has been the significantly reduced time spent performing non-billable administration tasks.

“Simplicity’s professional payroll and credit control processes have allowed us much more time for sales activity.”

By Nathan Ferris, Darcy Associates Ltd

Nathan continues “Working with Simplicity forces us to work to best practice within the business, when it comes to paying our workers every week.  I missed the structure that they provide, clear deadlines to meet, which has improved efficiencies in the business no end.  Most of all, I love the fact I’m no longer chasing debt every day and can drive my business forwards again – that’s why I started it!”

“Simplicity has given us the confidence to go out and increase our sales. Our brand has come on leaps and bounds since returning to Simplicity and we are glad we made the move.”

By Nathan Ferris, Darcy Associates Ltd

Nathan concluded "By leaving the guys at Simplicity, using an inferior solution and experiencing how it affected business growth, I now know how valuable they are in supporting our growth.”

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