To get a sense of the growth the global shipping industry has sustained, think about the fact that every second, 5,102 parcels are shipped globally across just 13 countries tracked in a major shipping index. There are many players that keep it all moving, and Marsh Shipping Supply Company (MSSC) is one of them.
The Collinsville, Illinois-based, privately-held manufacturer makes ink, marking, coding, stenciling and taping solutions for 175 distributors in North America and 90 more globally at its two manufacturing plants across Illinois and Missouri. MSSC’s roots date back a century and they have a global presence spanning 52 countries.
MSSC at a glance
Problem: International growth comes with high intermediary bank fees
A full 26% of MSSC’s business comes from international customers – most of whom pay invoices by wire transfer. As its international customer base grew, so too did the cost of intermediary bank fees assumed by MSSC, as well as the need to provide more payment methods and flexibility in options to their customers around the world. Executive Vice President Mike Strope set out to streamline the cross-border receivables process to save bank fee costs, speed payment and ultimately get product into the hands of customers faster to sustain and build relationships.
Solution: Target cross-border receivables process improvements in key markets
At a Bank of America customer meeting in August 2023, Strope connected with Flywire, coming away impressed by Flywire’s expertise in both established and emerging markets. He saw the potential to lower international transaction costs and speed payment receipt in many of the places MSSC was growing – not only in Mexico, but Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt, Nicaragua and more. Customers in those places now use Flywire to pay their invoices – and those successes have built the confidence internally to roll out more geographies.
“We have a lot more distributors than we had five years ago, and with Flywire, we’ve had immediate successes,” Strope said.
Benefits: Lower intermediary bank costs, higher customer satisfaction, competitive advantage
Flywire has helped MSSC:
- Reduce the cost of intermediary bank fees by thousands. Shedding that “forever annoyance,” of what many companies accept as “the cost of business,” as Strope puts it, sets MSSC apart – and goes a long way toward building better customer relationships.
- Factor savings in intermediary bank fees to compete on business. Savings on intermediary bank fees can be used as a tool for customer negotiations and enhancing long-term business relationships.
“We can look at an aggregate: If they buy $100,000 a year and we’ve saved $1,500 in intermediary bank fees, I can now turn that around and give better discounts, lower their landing costs and enhance their ability to compete and to win more business,” Strope said.
- Get paid faster to move products faster. For newer customers, MSSC requires pre-payment, and payment delays have ripple effects. The longer it takes for MSSC to receive that payment, the longer the customer’s shipment sits on the plant floor. And without the ink, coding or taping solution MSSC provides, the customer’s product can’t leave their own warehouse.
With Flywire, MSSC gets paid faster and has already seen improvements in being able to release its customer’s shipments two to three days earlier.
“These customers can’t ship their product unless it’s coded correctly. And if you run out of ink, well, you can’t ship it,” Strope said. “With Flywire, we can give distributors new ways to pay, and now I can release their ink shipment two to three days earlier than I could before.”
- Ease the cash application process. With Flywire, MSSC’s accounting team no longer has to manually match invoice numbers and incoming payments to apply cash – it’s automated with Flywire.
“Flywire makes posting cash easier and more straightforward,” said Debbie McPherson, MSSC’s Controller. “I really enjoy the way Flywire works, especially how it gives notifications and different live status updates, from initiated to guaranteed and delivered.”
Future: Growth ahead
With a reliable, secure solution for cross-border receivables, MSSC can grow into emerging and promising markets across Central America – including Guatemala and Nicaragua, as well as easily onboard new customers in geographies it has already gained a foothold in across Africa and Europe. By spending less time on payments processes, Strope and his team have more time to focus on key strategic initiatives. MSSC is a very active leader in regional trade and export councils where they share their export expertise and engage in training programs to build knowledge and skills in their local community.
Knowing that there’s a solution for cross-border receivables makes it more exciting for us to grow.