When customers take longer to pay, the pain for small manufacturers is real. Nicole Wolter is president of HM Manufacturing, a $2.8 million company that makes power train components like gears, pulleys and shafts. Boeing is a customer; the Wauconda plant also supplies a company that sells Chicken McNuggets machines to Tyson.
In the past eight months, Wolter says, customers have asked to go from 45 or 60 days to 90. One customer simply began paying invoices in 90 days instead of 60 days without ever acknowledging the change.
Slower payment from customers makes it more difficult to meet payroll or forecast when to buy new machinery. Wolter had to part ways with one company that wanted to move to 120 days.
"As much as it hurts (to lose a customer), it hurts more when you look at your bank account, and there's not much there, and you're waiting on all of this money," she says.
Nicole is one of several industry leaders featured.
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