If you’re new to invoice factoring or Interstate Capital, you probably have lots of questions about who to contact for various things and what duties each person covers. The good news is, if you’re a client of Interstate Capital, you’ve got a team of dedicated customer service professionals ready to help with what you need. Chances are, you’ll get to know that team very well as the months and years pass, simply because it’s your account manager and team who oversee everything—from getting your funds out to you to making sure all documentation is in order. Mariana Regalado-Guerrero, a seasoned account exec with more than a decade of service at Interstate Capital, says she speaks with the companies she helps at least once per week, if not daily.
Meet Mariana: An Interstate Capital Account Manager
Mariana was kind enough to chat with us about what it’s like to be a factoring account manager and what an average day is like for her. According to Mariana, moving into a career in factoring, particularly for the trucking industry, was a natural fit. Prior to transitioning to Interstate Capital, Mariana managed an El Paso freight forwarding company which used Interstate Capital’s factoring services. She was able to understand first-hand the benefits that a factoring company can offer the transportation industry.
When the freight forwarding company decided to pack up and move in 2006, she found a new home in our Texas headquarters where she worked for about five years before moving to California.
Mariana Spends Her Mornings Getting Payments Out
Starting her day around 5 a.m., Mariana says her first order of business is always to work through her emails. Her specialty is helping transportation companies, though she works with clients from other industries as well. “When a typical company has cash flow issues, business may stall,” she says. “But when trucking companies, for instance, have cash flow issues, they may literally be stuck in the middle of nowhere until they get cash. I can’t put those kinds of things on hold. Making sure they have cash ASAP could be the difference between being stranded and going home to their family.”
Oftentimes, Mariana processes payments within 24 hours, simply because her clients depend on fast funding to keep moving. However, she says some of the larger clients with more bandwidth opt for slightly slower payments to minimize expenses. For them, she explains, the biggest benefit is that invoice factoring allows them to focus on the other aspects of business, like accepting more orders and expanding their operations.
She also uses the morning hours to work through account requests and connect with clients who need help.
After Lunch, It’s More of the Same with Some Extra Legwork
Fueled by a can of Diet Coke and some peanuts she had at her desk, Mariana sets in to tackle the afternoon: “It used to be that we’d be done processing payments by noon,” she explains, but nowadays the volume of funding keeps her busy until late afternoon. Between funding requests, she responds to client inquiries.
Sometimes, clients check in to see if there are ways to cut expenses, while other times she’s connecting with them to work on other day-to-day account-related issues. In the background, she’s also checking debtor’s credit to ensure they’re still in good standing, helping her clients mitigate loss, and making sure they’re working with trustworthy vendors. “Many people think we’re a collections agency,” explains Mariana. “But that’s not at all what we do. We’re helping with cash flow. We offer a collections system so invoices get paid.”
When new clients come into Interstate Capital, Mariana says it only takes about three days before clients are connected with her. “Sometimes underwriting is the first big part of the process, but it’s really quick when someone has all their documentation in order,” says Mariana. They don’t always have invoices to factor right away, but she gets an email out immediately after someone is assigned to her and places a phone call within an hour. “I just want to say ‘hi’ and let them know I’m their day-to-day contact and see how I can help,” she says.
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Mariana gushes without hesitation: “Knowing that we’re helping businesses grow,” she says. Most of the companies she helps have tried to get lines of credit from banks and got denied.
“When people tell me they’re going to stop factoring because they got a line of credit from the bank, I’m proud,” she declares. “We encourage it and are just glad to be able to help when we can.”
She also beams about the long-term relationships she forges with clients. “I had one client assigned to me in 2012 when it was just him and one truck,” she says. “He’s now got 25 trucks and doesn’t do the driving anymore.” She says he thanks her every Christmas because he’s home with his family and not out on the road, all because of her support and the services Interstate Capital provides which enabled him to grow his business. Mariana says it’s like that with her job, though. She often gets Christmas cards from people who haven’t used invoice factoring in years. “You get to know them when you work together so much. I know their businesses, their families, the names of their kids…”
Despite the positivity of her role, there are some challenges, too. Mariana had to dig deep to come up with an answer to what she felt was the hardest part of her job, but she says it’s very hard to tell customers when she can’t purchase an invoice due to a debtor’s credit-worthiness issue. Because Interstate Capital looks into each debtor’s ability to pay invoices, financing limits are set for each one in advance. “We know how they pay. We know their finances. We know what they’re capable of paying,” she adds. This information gets added to the computer system, which clients can access 24/7, so it’s easy to see when a particular company is reaching its maximum credit limit.
“But,” Mariana continues, “people get excited when work comes in. They might be told they can deliver 20 orders for one person, and they want to earn that money. However, if that person is only approved for the value of two orders, that’s all we can factor. Having a lot of work from a single company sounds good, but it might not be if that company can’t afford to pay for it all.”
Because of this, Mariana educates her clients as much as possible. She tries to get them using the data available and teaches others in their company who accept work how to know if something is probably a safe bet or if they need to mitigate risk and not accept more work from someone until invoices get caught back up.
She Works Hard, But Enjoys Life, Too
When we caught up with Mariana, it was about 5:30 in the afternoon and she was still at her desk. After work, she hits the ground running: “I pretty much become a driver myself after I leave work, picking up kids from school and driving them to football, tennis, volleyball and flag football. I wish I could factor those rides,” Mariana says with a laugh. She’s a busy mom of four, ages 11, 12, 14 and 16. “It’s a total adventure, and my husband and I love it,” she says.
On the weekends, the whole family likes to gather together for movies and have a campout in the bedroom. Even the 16-year-old still joins in, though Mariana thinks those days are numbered. “He’s starting to drive so I’m sure those days will be over soon, but I’m enjoying them for now.” She also has a big holiday trip planned. “We will all be spending Thanksgiving in Cancun, so we are all looking forward to some time off.”
Meet Your Very Own Account Exec
We’re proud to have Mariana here with us at Interstate Capital. Her spirit, dedication and ethics shine through in everything she does. She, along with a whole team of account executives, work side-by-side with our factoring clients on a daily basis, ensuring they get the funding they need and help them find solutions to their biggest challenges. It’s this personalized level of service and wonderful people like Mariana which sets Interstate Capital apart from others. If you’d like a free cash flow consultation and the opportunity to work with one of our experienced account executives, get in touch with us today.