Is Direct Pay Part of Your Operations Strategy Yet?

The Sungage Financial Direct Pay Program enables you to allocate project-specific funds for supplies to be sent to the distributor on your behalf. This will help you:

  • Improve cash flow
  • Retain your operating capital
  • Install more projects without worrying about outselling your credit limit
  • Receive fast, reliable payment that is simple to track

We talked with two of our partners to learn how they are using Direct Pay to better control their operating expenses and cash flow.

Game changer

For Revolusun, an award-winning solar installer locally owned and operated north of Boston, Sungage’s Direct Pay Program has become a critical component of the company’s operations strategy. Vice President Brian Sadler explains, “Before Direct Pay, we had to leverage cash for 100% of the equipment we ordered in bulk supply, knowing we would not be getting paid for that equipment until much later. Now we can purchase equipment without money upfront on all of our financed projects, using bulk order equipment only for cash deals, which is a huge help to our cash flow.”

Two years ago when Brian assumed the role of Vice President, he quickly saw Direct Pay as an opportunity to reduce capital outlay. He made the topic a priority with company CEO Matt Powers, who agreed. The rest was easy. “Basically, I told my account manager that I want to sign up, signed one document, and Direct Pay was set up virtually immediately — within a day.”

Cost allocation

Equipment costs can comprise as much as 50-70% of total project costs. Covering that with Direct Pay alleviates that cost burden. Sungage solar installer partner Alba Energy, the premier solar installers of the Austin Energy service territory and a top-rated company in Austin, TX, relies on Direct Pay for 100% of projects that are financed with Sungage.

“Direct Pay has been a game changer for us,” Vice President of Operations Amanda Adair said. “With Sungage Direct Pay, I know that my vendors are taken care of.”

How does it work?

When you upload the signed installation contract to the Sungage portal, you tell us how much to pay the distributor who then verifies that the information is accurate. Upon installation and confirmation by the homeowner, we release payment to you via direct deposit and send the distributor the allocated amount.

Managing Direct Pay projects is easy

Amanda at Alba Energy appreciates the simplicity. “It allows me to use one portal for vendors — the Sungage portal — so I don’t have to log into the vendor’s portal, make sure I’m paying the right invoice, or hand-pick the correct invoice. This is much easier for accounting.”

The Revolusun team loves the Sungage portal — both on the sales and operations side. “It’s super easy to use,” Brian said. “Our sales team almost exclusively uses the Sungage proposal in that process, and operations finds it easy to manage projects on the Direct Pay side. We know what our budget is for each job, what is getting paid to the distributor and to us, and when payments will be made.”

Reliable, fast payment

Distributors like the Sungage program because the equipment funds are secure, and payments are prompt. They typically receive funds a day or two after the homeowner confirms project completion.

“Sungage makes payments every day, unlike some other finance companies who may pay distributors once a week,” Brian said. “This gives our suppliers a strong sense of confidence because, instead of sending us hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment not knowing how long it will take to get that money, these funds are secure. This actually makes them more willing to be flexible and more apt to be comfortable with larger shipments and providing better terms on bulk orders.”

Extensive distributor network 
Direct Pay gives you access to our extensive distributor network, one of the largest networks of distributors in the solar finance industry.

distributer network

If you don’t see your distributor on our list, just reach out to your account manager. We are always expanding our list and adding distribution partners. 

Amanda recalls how her account manager Doug Pierce helped get her distributor into the program. “Doug really dug in and worked with our preferred distributor’s policies and systems and got them into the program for us so we could take advantage of the Direct Pay benefit.”

Why is it helpful?

Cash flow is important to our partners. Sungage created this program to help alleviate our installer partners’ concerns about outselling credit limits. Brian elaborated and said, “Before Direct Pay, if I only had $20 thousand credit left and needed $40 thousand for projects, I might not be able to get that equipment. Then I’d have to shift install teams or leverage money that might take away from other key operations.”

Now is the time to set up Direct Pay

Distributors look closer at finances during periods of economic uncertainty and may reassess financial situations. Our distributor-partners participate in our Direct Pay Program because they can trust the companies we do business with since our reputable installers go through an extensive vetting process, and feedback and collaboration is constantly shared.

What are you waiting for? Making Direct Pay part of your operations strategy is as easy as calling or emailing your Sungage account manager today. See how good it feels to free up cash spent on equipment so you can focus on operating and growing your business.

About the Author

Nicholas Lee is a Solar Finance Specialist from the Sungage Financial Oakland office. 

Special thanks to contributions from Amanda Adair of Alba Energy, and Brian Sadler of Revolusun. 

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