• CIT Commercial Services

    CIT Commercial Services provides financial solutions to middle market consumer product companies. Our lending, financing, and receivable management services are designed to improve cash flow, reduce operating expenses and mitigate credit risks.

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    Key Areas of Focus

    • Apparel  
    • Furniture Footwear  
    • Furniture  
    • Housewares  
    • Consumer Electronics
    • Accessories
    • Home Furnishings 
    • Textiles
    • Toys
    • Hardware
    • Luggage
    • Other Consumer Product Industries 
    • Service Industries
  • Commercial Services Highlights


    The retail industry is going through a form of evolution, maybe even a revolution. In this CIT Executive Spotlight, Marc Heller discusses e-commerce and retail industry trends, and shares his outlook for the rest of 2016. Read E-Commerce Drives Retail Revolution for more insight.


  • Related Content

    Don't you hate it when reality intrudes on your dreams?

    Your dream as a chief executive of a consumer technology vendor is to create really cool, cutting-edge products that are striking in their technology, function, ergonomics, design and value-products that will improve the digital lives of your customers and keep them coming back for more. 

    Consumer Electronics 350x252 Instead of living this dream, however, you're faced with the banal daily reality of business. Rather than concentrating on creating "the next big thing," you're out there fighting to build and maintain your business. Your time and resources are monopolized by the mundane day-to-day, dealing with foreign factories, warehousing, inventory and distributors, collecting receivables, maintaining cash flow, hiring support personnel, meeting daily expenses, funding growth, and increasing profits. You treasure the few moments you get with the product designers and engineers.

    Many Consumer Electronics (CE) companies  have cleverly minimized operational overhead for their companies-and their executives' own daily headaches-by outsourcing. For instance, many CE companies outsource their payroll, their inventory and warehousing, their advertising and public relations.

    But for some reason, most of these same companies continue to handle their accounts receivable and collections in-house. This means they have to hire a credit manager, maybe multiple credit managers, and collections staff, as they happily add to the number of retailers to whom they sell. These hires, plus the additional costs of benefits and office space, increase fixed costs and overhead and also add to operational headaches if things don't work out personnel-wise. 

    It's understandable that you want to manage these receivables yourself. You make the product-you want to collect the money. The desire to complete this basic business transaction is a visceral one, dating back to that first nickel you earned at your first lemonade stand or that first payment you received from a neighbor for raking their leaves or shoveling their snow. Managing your accounts receivable gives you the ultimate sense of control over your business.

    But this is another case of reality intruding on the dream. Even the most efficiently run in-house accounts receivable operation can't get all your customers to pay you the way your neighbors did. Company executives find themselves spending inordinate amounts of time and energy resolving payment issues-discrepancies between what the P.O. stipulated and what was actually delivered, disputes over damaged goods, late deliveries, retailers' financial problems, and even plain old-fashioned stalling-often by large retailers who use their size to pressure smaller vendors into sending them more product before paying for what they've already received.

    All of this accounts receivable uncertainty stretches out already elongated cash conversion cycles to the breaking point, making it tough for companies to meet their daily operational responsibilities, much less finance new product development and manufacturing so they can continue to grow.

    Considering all these headaches, why not outsource your accounts receivable operation and let someone else handle the collections and the headaches while simultaneously reducing your operational overhead? 

    A firm that specializes in accounts receivable management and collections can manage these operations more efficiently than any in-house operation, just as a 3PL provider can better handle your inventory and warehousing and a payroll company can better manage your payroll. Such firms  are familiar with most accounting systems that exist as well as most varieties of payment methods and situations.

    In short, outsourcing your accounts receivable management is a win for you giving you more time to focus on your dream of developing and selling cutting-edge products.

    Click here to see more information on consumer electronics industry accounts receivable outsourcing.

    The core 2016 back-to-school shopping season gave way to some interesting purchasing trends. On average, spending is up from the prior year, with those who began shopping in early July spending 27 percent more than those that began shopping in August or later. According to a recent study performed by Deloitte, while 61 percent of parents plan to do their research online, traditional school supplies like clothing, pencils, paper, notebooks and the like will be purchased at a physical store, putting brick and mortar in the lead this shopping season. 1

    Tablet user 350x192 Parents are still the primary decision makers when it comes to K-12 back-to-school shopping. But they are getting some help from their local schools in the form of supply lists. Some schools have circumvented the shopping process all together by offering preconfigured mommy packs. For a nominal fee that includes shipping you can have everything your child needs to start the 2016 school year delivered to the comfort of your home.

    Technology continues to win in 2016, with K-12 parents spending on average $343 on tech purchases. The numbers are higher for the parents of college freshman who spent roughly $470. 2  This is great news for consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers, as more will be spent on tech items this back-to-school season than in any other category.

    A breakdown of this tech spend shows that laptops will account for 49 percent of all planned tech purchases, followed by:

    • Tablets, 42 percent
    • Mobile devices, 31 percent
    • Headphones, 27 percent
    • Mobile phone plans, 22 percent
    • Desktop computers, 18 percent
    • Cameras, 14 percent  3

    When it comes to tech purchases, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target & Apple respectively are the preferred retailers. Interestingly enough, Walmart, Target & Amazon are the preferred destinations for back-to-school shopping across the board when it comes to technology, traditional supplies and apparel, with Walmart surpassing Amazon in the areas of traditional supplies and apparel in 2016.

    1 http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/back-to-school-survey.html
    2 http://rubiconproject.com/insights-report/2016-back-to-school-consumer-pulse/
    3 http://rubiconproject.com/insights-report/2016-back-to-school-consumer-pulse/  

    *Total number of responses will equal more than 100% as study participants were are allowed to select multiple responses.

    CIT Executives provide their outlook on e-commerce and retail industry trends. [Q&A]
    Before selling products to big-box retailers, consider these 3 factors. [Article]
    Malls aren't dead. See how they are staying relevant amidst changing trends. [Article]
    Furniture is seen as a form of expression, contributing to industry growth. [Fast Facts]