While the catalyst to Wayne Chiert starting his automotive supplies business, Super Cat Converters, was an accidental meeting with an American man and his sausage dog, the secret to keeping it running has much less to do with chance.

Super Cat Converters was established in 1995 as the collection arm for scrap catalytic converters for Australian Metal Co. In October 1996 it began importing aftermarket replacement converters from the USA. The business has grown to become a major national wholesaler to the exhaust industry with 6 branches across the country.

Super Cat Converters distribute a wide range of products with over 3,000 part numbers available. These products include replacement bolt on and universal aluminized mufflers, catalytic converters, stainless steel performance mufflers, bolt on performance systems to suit most domestic and foreign cars, extractors and accessories.

When Wayne started the business, it was very different to what it is today; a business that has expanded into five states with a long list of international clients. “It’s funny, I didn’t expect to go down this path,” Wayne says. “A company in the USA approached us to recycle girders. We gave it a go and it really worked out. Today, we’re an automotive wholesaler as well as a recycler,” Wayne says. “We offer customers a one-stop service, so they can get everything quickly and efficiently with the service to back it up.”

Wayne is an accountant by trade, and the story of Super Cat Converters’ genesis is probably different to other catalytic converter wholesalers. “I went to the US to buy a machine and met an old guy driving a pick-up truck with a sausage dog in the back. He said ‘You’re a young man, I’d like to help you out. Here’s a catalogue for a major US company, maybe you should give them a call.’ I called them, and they didn’t have any distribution in Australia. That company, Magnaflow, is now our biggest supplier.”

Financial flexibility

Two decades on, during a property sale, Wayne was looking for additional finance but was staring down lengthy delays from the banks. “We had a property to sell with a long term settlement. We had gone to the banks to ask for financing but were looking for alternatives, and we got recommended Marketlend.”

MarketLend is a finance and investment marketplace that offers four different products to borrowers, depending upon their business financial requirements. Super Cat Converters has been using the Marketlend platform since 2017.

“When I first spoke to Leo Tyndall, CEO of MarketLend, I said “I’ve got a property to sell, I might need a loan to help me out. Leo went through how Marketlend works and I thought I’d give it a go. I started with an unsecured $100,000 facility.” Wayne says the combination of flexible finance, not needing to sacrifice his house to secure a loan, and working with people who have an interest in his business has given him the freedom and support he needs to grow his business.

Cash flow flexibility

In fact, Wayne has been so impressed by MarketLend that when it developed its new payment gateway offering, UnLock, a business-to-business (B2B) buy now pay later method that enables businesses to improve their working capital to have financial flexibility, he decided to offer his own customers this financial solutions option.

UnLock can extend supplier terms from 30, 60 to 90 days, freeing up a businesses’ cash flow to be redirected towards other business growth opportunities instead of paying supplier and agency invoices, and is a great alternative to a business taking out more debt.

UnLock extends payment terms on invoice and suppliers are paid upfront in return for a fee. Businesses can use UnLock funds, starting from $50,000, immediately rather than dipping into their accounts.

Wayne says the speed and flexibility of Marketlend made it hard to imagine going back to the banks. “I think the banks might’ve taken three or four months to do what Marketlend did in two weeks. When a bank lends money, they want some kind of property security. With Marketlend, there’s nothing like that. There’s no caveats, so you can have all your properties unencumbered which is a really good thing.”

“By creating cash flow, paying suppliers and transferring the risk to ourselves, UnLock enables businesses to have more financial flexibility, particularly when the business is growing,” says Tyndall.

For more information, email UnLock at assistance@unlockb2b.com or call 1300 257 387.