World Centric makes it easier for consumers to enjoy their meals while helping to ensure a sustainable and greener environment. This socially conscience enterprise, based in Palo Alto, Calif., designs, manufactures, and sells compostable food service disposables as alternatives to petroleum-based plastic and foam products.
World Centric's environmentally friendly products include items such as plates, containers, trays, cups, straws, eating utensils, etc. Its products are sustainably manufactured from discarded wheat straw fiber and annually renewable plants. They are non-toxic, take less energy to manufacture, and are certified compostable - meaning ultimately decaying into the soil at a commercial composting facility.
Unfortunately, the widely used foam food disposables are notrecycled, and they contribute to marine debris pollution, kill marine wildlife and can be extremely costly to local governments to clean up. Plastic foodservice disposables are also not recycled and contribute to increasing amounts of waste in landfills. World Centric's compostable products are produced from sustainable sources and play a key role in responsible waste diversion. Food-soiled disposables can be discarded in a compost facility together with food waste, where both will turn into soil within 90 to 180 days.
Founded in 2004, World Centric is currently one of the leading suppliers of certified compostable products with national sales coverage and distribution. It supplies schools, corporate cafeterias, restaurants, and hospitals. It also has a line of retail products available for purchase in over 1,500 grocery stores. As a B Corporation, dedicated to solving social and environmental issues, World Centric donates 25 percent of its profits to grassroots non-profit organizations, offsets all carbon produced in its manufacturing, logistics and business operations and gives discounts to non-profits
INTEGRATING FINANCING WITH LOGISTICS
As World Centric continued to grow, it faced a need for more funding. It was time to turn from the traditional sources of entrepreneurial financing - friends, family members, credit cards, home equity loans - and seek a working capital loan from a financial institution?
World Centric soon realized it needed more than just financing. Since its goods were imported from Asia and now distributed across the United States, its logistics were becoming increasingly more complex as costs continued to escalate. This was compounded by the increasing global awareness of sustainability and how World Centric's products support sustainability practices.
It is challenging for many financial institutions to lend against the value of goods that are in-transit to the United States from a foreign jurisdiction via ocean or air freight. For World Centric, this inability to borrow against the value of in-transit inventory would translate into a significantly smaller line of available credit. As a result, World Centric needed to find a logistics partner that could streamline its supply chain and lend against its in-transit goods from Asia. Or, find a financial services company that could lend against its in-transit goods from Asia and streamline its supply chain.
AN ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION
Fortunately, World Centric found both at UPS Capital®, the financial services arm of UPS. It secured a $2.5 million revolving line of credit using UPS Capital's Global Asset-Based Lending (GABL) solution and it used UPS Trade Direct® to simplify its logistics management, reduced costs and removed days from World Centric's supply chain.
The line of credit is backed, in part, by World Centric's in-transit inventory as it is transported via ocean freight from Asia to the United States. Because the in-transit inventory is managed by
UPS Supply Chain Solutions®, UPS Capital has visibility into the disposition of the goods — visibility that traditional lenders lack. UPS Capital can confidently lend against the in-transit inventory because UPS Supply Chain Solutions' sophisticated tracking technologies provide visibility of the goods.
BETTER LOGISTICS MEANS BETTER BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
By combining UPS's logistics capabilities with UPS Capital's flexible line of credit, World Centric has streamlined its supply chain, repaid its initial investors, purchased more inventory and expanded its customer base, all while doubling its 2008 revenues.
"We would not have been able to grow as much as we have without the line of credit from UPS Capital," said Aseem Das, World Centric's CEO and founder. "UPS Capital has provided a unique financing solution that we were unable to secure from our other lenders."