If so, we'd love to hear it!
Simply click the link below and submit any ideas that you have for us to talk about on future Wheel of Risk episodes!
If so, we'd love to hear it!
Simply click the link below and submit any ideas that you have for us to talk about on future Wheel of Risk episodes!
Alix McCabe: Picture this, you're running a successful small business that's looking to grow by landing some whale- size clients, when you realize the level of risk that comes with sailing into those larger seas might be more than you can manage.
Karellys Mattos: Having to actually trust them and offer them a net 30 it's kind of like... especially nowadays, where everything is just a little crazy, to put it in a simple word, it's just very hard. But if we don't risk something, we don't gain something.
Alix McCabe: Go ahead and get comfortable. I'll tell you the story of Nassau National Cable Corporation. We're going to need a bigger boat.
Welcome to Wheel of Risk, a new podcast series proudly presented by Allianz Trade. I'm your host, Alix McCabe.
On every episode, we spin the wheel, land on a new worry, and then tackle it head on by hearing from business leaders who've been through it all before.
Plus, we bring you expert advice to help you keep your business safe, secure and well ahead of the competition. Go ahead, spin the wheel. We've got you covered.
It's a situation most business owners can probably relate to, a client or customer owes you some money, maybe a lot of money. As the days countdown on that Net 30 or Net 60, the only thing you're hearing from them is...
The fear starts to set in. You lie awake in your bed at night, tossing and turning as the terrible possibilities all play out in your sleep- deprived mind. It's not a great feeling.
Regardless of how the situation resolves itself, the stress and anxiety never help. They don't affect the outcome. They just rob you of your peace of mind.
Now, hopefully that little story wasn't too relatable for my guest on this episode. We don't want to accidentally trigger anyone.
Karellys Mattos is the president of operations at Nassau National Cable Corporation based in Neck Bend, New York. Karellys, welcome to Wheel of Risk.
Karellys Mattos: Hi, Alix. Thank you very much.
Alix McCabe: Thanks so much for joining us today. I'd also like to introduce my colleague, George Pipala, who's an account underwriter here at Allianz Trade. Hi, George. Welcome.
George Pipala: Hey, thank you. How are you?
Alix McCabe: So as usual, what we'll do is we'll hear from George in the second half of the episode. But Karellys, let's begin with your company's origin story. So tell me about your business.
Karellys Mattos: We are an e- commerce. We distribute everything that has to do with electrical wires and cables. We're dabbling in the everything other than electrical wires and cables field. So, everything that has to do with plumbing, household needs, cabinets and stuff like that.
It has been a little challenging with everything going on, but we have been very successful otherwise.
Alix McCabe: When were you founded? How long ago?
Karellys Mattos: As an e- commerce, we started in 2013.
Alix McCabe: Okay. Before that, was the company in existence prior to 2013?
Karellys Mattos: Yes. Yes. We have more than 60 years of existence and experience.
Alix McCabe: Okay. And are you doing business primarily in the US or also internationally?
Karellys Mattos: We're doing both. Our main clientele is in here in the United States, but we also have customers that contact us and we deliver material outside of the United States.
Alix McCabe: Okay, got it. Picking up on that, tell me maybe a little bit more of the types of customers that you work with.
Karellys Mattos: We have all types of customers. We have homeowners. We have business owners. We have contractors. We have manufacturers as well. We also have distributors that contact us looking for material.
Alix McCabe: It sounds like you deal with a bunch of different types of customers. Can that be challenging at times? Are there certain factors that you have to consider before doing a deal?
Karellys Mattos: Yes. Yes, of course. Like I mentioned before, many different customers that we deal with. Individually, each one poses a challenge. Homeowner doesn't know exactly what they're looking for.
Alix McCabe: I'm a homeowner, I can attest to that. I don't often know exactly what I'm looking for.
Karellys Mattos: Right. So they're just basically doing what somebody else, whether it's a contractor or a friend who knows or dabbles in the area, is telling them to look for. So, they have no idea.
We have the contractor. But being that the United States mainly, which is where we sell the most, changes regulations by state, it is a bit of a challenge for us to know exactly who or what is it that the customer is looking for.
Then we have the manufacturer that is very picky on the processes, the documents, what it's needed, the payment terms and everything. Like I said, it's very detailed to whoever it is that we're dealing with at the time.
Alix McCabe: Okay. That makes sense. So as you're working with these different types of stakeholders and customers, what types of risk factors do you face in your business?
Karellys Mattos: The case of a homeowner for whatever reason, didn't get the right cable, made the wrong purchase, or we made a mistake, it's easy for them to just contact their credit card institution and resolve it with them.
When it's the contractor, if they have their own company and then we are offering them net 30 or the same thing that applies to a manufacturer or a company or an engineer that is buying the cables from us, then having to actually trust them and offer them a net 30, it's kind of like... especially nowadays, where everything is just a little crazy, to put it in a simple word, it is very hard. But if we don't risk something, we don't gain something.
Alix McCabe: Speaking of risk, how much are the deals that you're doing typically worth? What kind of magnitude are we talking about?
Karellys Mattos: Well, we can go from hundred thousands to probably a million.
Alix McCabe: So is it nerve- wracking with that kind of money on the line? Especially, you were mentioning trusting the customer to pay on time.
Karellys Mattos: Every time one of those orders come to me, I actually reach out to George.
Alix McCabe: Ah, tell us a little bit more about that. So you're reaching out to George and you're saying, " Hey, help me out."
Karellys Mattos: Yeah. The customer comes to us and says out of the blue, " I just want to place an order with you, with terms." They have never placed an order with us, the first time ever. So, I just email George real quick, " I need your help. Please let me find, how are these companies rated? I'm not able to get much more information from them, so I need your help here." Then we decide whether or not we extend the credit to them.
Alix McCabe: So in a way, you're working with Allianz Trade to do the work of vetting clients, so that you can focus more on selling your product, offering support, et cetera.
Karellys Mattos: Yeah, exactly.
Alix McCabe: That's great. George, it must be rewarding to hear that you and the team are making a difference. It sounds like you're kind of integrated into the business operations, together with Karellys.
George Pipala: Yeah, absolutely. I like to look at it as a partnership. We're an extension of their credit management practices.
I like to look at us as an information company first, and then the insurance aspect as a second part of our business.
So yeah, I'm constantly working with not only Nassau Cable, but 200 other clients that I help every single day.
It's very rewarding because you get to hear the stories from them, how great it is that their business is growing. They don't have to worry about if they're going to have a bad debt loss from one of their customers. They'd like to look at it as a sleep insurance.
Sam, the owner of Nassau Cable, he's always bragging about us and saying how he could sleep at night now, not worrying about his customers paying.
Alix McCabe: That's great to hear, hence the term sleep insurance. Right?
George Pipala: Yep. Yeah, exactly.
Alix McCabe: So George, I'm eager to get more of your thoughts, but first we're going to take a quick break. So, stay with us and we'll be right back.
I'm Alix McCabe. You're listening to Wheel of Risk, a new podcast series brought to you by Allianz Trade.
In the fast- paced world of business, there's no shortage of things to keep you up at night, but all business is about risk, trust and reward. We are here to help you minimize the former and maximize the latter.
To learn more about how a partnership with Allianz Trade can benefit your organization, please visit Allianz- Trade. us/ podcast. That's A- L- L- I- A- N- Z- Trade. us/ podcast.
Welcome back. Today we've been speaking with Karellys Matos, president of operations at Nassau National Cable Corporation, about the challenges of hunting for whale- size clients in unknown and unpredictable waters.
Now let's study the ship and hear from my colleague George Pipala, who's an account underwriter here at Allianz Trade.
George, what stands out to you most about what we heard from Karellys and how she's working with Allianz Trade?
George Pipala: Yeah. I mean, I do work with her often and also the owner of the company, Sam. What stands out is what she said.
She's coming to us with prospect that they've never sold to before, they don't have any history with. They're using us as their credit checking tool, essentially.
Depending on what the risk grade is in our system, going anywhere from a one to a 10, 10 being bankrupt and one being a fantastic company, they won't do business with them if they're not favourable and if we cannot extend the credit terms and that coverage on them.
So, it's interesting to hear from her point of view and definitely would like to hear more.
Alix McCabe: We sometimes hear comparisons with trade credit insurance to car insurance, but it's much more than that. Right?
George Pipala: No, I have a little analogy I like to always say. Car insurance, you get into an accident, you file a claim, they'll pay you.
But credit insurance is a little different. It's almost as if we're sitting in the backseat of the car. We're telling the driver of the car, a mile down the road, there's going to be a big pothole. You're going to hit it, and you're going to get a flat tire. So, get off at the next exit.
I like to look at it that way, how we avoid the potential bad debt loss from happening, hence the information aspect of our business.
Alix McCabe: George, that's an interesting analogy. What sort of red flags or road signs, if you will, do you look for in that scenario, when you're co- driving the car, I should say? I guess you don't pilot a car.
George Pipala: We have a very robust database of information on millions of companies worldwide. We're constantly trying to gather information on these companies' financials, payment history, D& B reports.
It gets put into a algorithm and then spits out a risk grade and a potential credit exposure that we could hit.
Red flags would be definitely looking at financials. If they're poor, we're going to make certain decisions based on that, also, payment history.
If we have a customer that is covering one of their customers on terms, and they're reporting them as past due, there's obviously an issue there.
However, there's other people who are selling them and not seeing any issues. So, that's definitely a red flag right there.
Alix McCabe: So basically you're saying that you're a backseat driver, but a helpful backseat driver?
George Pipala: Yeah, absolutely. Yep. Yeah, co- pilot.
Alix McCabe: Yeah. Co- pilot is probably better. So Karellys, is any of what George is saying, is this resonating with you?
Karellys Mattos: Yes. I like the little story that he gave us. I think it's very appropriate for an explanation of how safe, in a way, we feel whenever we come to them or to him, for information.
He already give us everything that we need to know beforehand, so that we are alert. That way we decide whether we want to take the risk or not.
Alix McCabe: George, what advice would you give to other companies that are looking to scale and grow and go after some of these bigger fish? How do you think insurance can help them grow?
George Pipala: Yeah. Well, definitely partnering with Allianz Trade, but also being able to aggressively grow but also safely. That's where we come in.
The hardest part for any business is finding the customers. But once they find them, they want to nurture them and make that customer grow with them. The safe way to do that is partnering with a company like Allianz Trade.
Alix McCabe: Karellys, do you have any thoughts on what we just heard from George? Anything you'd like to add?
Karellys Mattos: Well, sleeping insurance, it's a good term to describe the way we feel as a company that use their services. It's just something that help us feel at ease whenever we're dealing with the companies.
That way we can put aside any worry that we may feel, as to gathering information or trusting whatever information the customer is giving us, providing us. Because we might not have the right tools to do our own research, our own investigation, or make sure that whatever we see in paper is the actual truth.
So, just having them in the back seat and making sure that whatever we are seeing they see as well. They will be the little boys behind our ears saying, " Yes, that's good. You can do business with them," or, " No, definitely look to the other side, because it's definitely not a good partner to do business with, et cetera, et cetera."
So it put us at ease. That way we can concentrate on making sure that we provide our customers excellent customer service and focus on making sure that whatever order or whatever material they're actually looking for, it's what they're getting, on top of us having to worry whether we are going to be paid.
When are we going to be paid? Did we make the right choice? Did we do the right move in order for us to grow? Are we partnering with someone that is going to put us at risk? So, it definitely is something to just keep in mind, that it's very useful.
George Pipala: Yeah. I would like to point out also, that it does help businesses move faster. The faster you could get sales done and get an answer on a potential customer, the faster your business grows.
So, I always try to stay on top of all the requests from Karellys, just because I know they're sometimes in a rush. They want to do business. They have customers that are demanding. They want the product now. We got to stay on top of it.
Alix McCabe: Speed to market is critical, especially in a competitive selling environment.
George Pipala: Right.
Alix McCabe: Karellys, how did the whale hunt play out? How much has your company been able to grow?
Karellys Mattos: Exponentially. I think in the last couple weeks, that is my favourite word.
Alix McCabe: I love it.
Karellys Mattos: Yeah. In the way we report and explain how much we grew, especially during this challenging times, it has been unseen before, for us and in this market as well. We were able to move forward in a way that I believe we couldn't have done alone.
I know Covid was a devastating event that affected a lot of this industries. In fact, a lot of our competitors didn't quite make it through.
But I think the biggest secret, our biggest secret was actually using the right tools. One of them was Allianz Trade, which helped us through immensely.
Alix McCabe: That's awesome to hear.
Karellys Mattos: So the growth has been like, let's say... I'll give you a very rude example, from one million, let's say a year, we went to 10 to 15 a year. So, that's why I say exponentially is kind of my favourite word.
Alix McCabe: Yeah, that's fantastic. That's almost it for this episode, but before we hang up our headphones, I want to give both of you a chance to sum up what we've talked about today or add any final thoughts.
So George, let's start with you. What is the number one thing that you'd say companies need to keep in mind when seeking new clients to scale up their business?
George Pipala: Keep in mind is definitely building a relationship with that client, so hopefully it'll be a long- lasting relationship and client. And as mentioned, partnering or having the right tools to make these sales grow aggressively, but also eliminating certain risks and having that backseat driver telling you, " Hey, you better get off on this exit because there's going to be an accident. We're avoiding that loss from happening."
One thing I would like to add is, there are times where there's things you just can't plan or forecast. I mean, look what happened with Covid.
There's things that Karellys will miss. There's things that we will miss. No one's perfect. That's where the credit insurance, the insurance aspect kicks in.
So then, we'll pay for those bad debt losses. Or if a company goes bankrupt, then we're there for that reason.
Alix McCabe: Thanks, George. Karellys, tell us how your partnership with Allianz Trade has impacted your organization. What can other business leaders learn from your example, would you say?
Karellys Mattos: Finance is always one of the biggest worries that companies have every day. A lot of people depend on how good a company's doing, employees and customers as well.
I feel like in order for us to focus on developing the company structure and growing internally and being more organized and making sure that our employees are happy, that everybody is doing the right thing and for the right reasons.
If you want to do that, I feel like Allianz Trade is the tool that is going to allow you to keep that worry aside and focus on what's important for you at the moment.
It's a very important tool. Maybe I'm simplifying it a little too much. Maybe I'm taking away the importance it has, but it does have a great impact on how easy it becomes to manage a company when you just take away that worry of making the right decision into selling a customer or offering credit to a customer, without having a previous relationship or someone that... being that we sell internationally, someone that we have never met before, we have never known, heard of before.
It makes everything a lot easier and allows us as executive, to organize and focus on other things, that at the moment might be a little bit more important.
Alix McCabe: Thanks for that. It's great to hear how the partnership with Allianz Trade has helped your company focus on what you do best, which is meeting the needs of your many, many clients. Thank you so much for being part of Wheel of Risk.
Karellys Mattos: Thank you for inviting me. Thank you very much.
Alix McCabe: So Karellys, before you go, I'm going to ask you if you would mind spinning the wheel of our wheel of risk, to help us pick our next episode. Will you do that with me?
Karellys Mattos: Absolutely, yes.
Alix McCabe: All right. Here we go.
Karellys Mattos: Three, two, one. Here I go. That's so funny.
Alix McCabe: Oh, interesting. Wow. You've landed on Supply Shock.
Karellys Mattos: Wow.
George Pipala: Ooh.
Alix McCabe: The story of how MGI International lived up to its name as a global company due to a supply glut here in the US.
George Pipala: Oh, interesting.
Alix McCabe: That should be a good one.
Karellys Mattos: Yep, definitely.
Alix McCabe: My guest today has been Karellys Matos, president of operations at Nassau National Cable Corporation. I'd also like to thank my colleague George Pipala. George, thanks as always for your expertise.
George Pipala: Thank You. You're welcome.
Alix McCabe: Karellys, it's been wonderful having you. Thank you again.
Karellys Mattos: Thank you for inviting me. It's been a pleasure.
Alix McCabe: I'm Alix McCabe and this is Wheel of Risk, brought to you by Allianz Trade. Thank you so much for listening. If you liked what you heard, please give us a follow wherever you get your podcasts. Talk to you next time.