Friendly faces make all the difference for this business owner
When Larry Odum started selling plumbing and irrigation supplies as Odum Sales in 1972, there was no online banking. When he walked into his hometown bank in Americus, Georgia, he knew the staff. He liked that friendly, personal feeling, knowing the staff was familiar with his business needs.
Over the next decade, as local banks were bought by larger firms, Larry's bank began to change. One day in the early 1980s, he walked into his bank and didn't recognize a single face. His local bank had been bought by a big bank, and there had been a lot of turnover.
"At that time, I needed something, and I didn't know who to talk to," he says. "That set me off, not knowing anybody, and I needed an answer, quick."
So Larry turned to Synovus. Larry knew some bank employees there from his involvement in the community.
"I left that big bank and came to Synovus to get away from all the turnover, and I've stayed ever since," he says.
Today Larry has three businesses, doing well north of $1 million in revenue annually:
- Odum Sales, the original manufacturer's sales representatives
- Nabco, an importer of such equipment
- Mudo, a real estate company
Having bank employees who know Larry Odum isn't just a nicety — it's a necessity when it comes to paying his import bills from halfway around the world.
All three of Larry's companies are based in Americus, but he also does business from Florida to Tennessee and beyond. Having bank employees who know him and his business isn't just a nicety; it's a necessity when it comes to his import needs from halfway around the world. Not everyone can handle immediate calls for international wire transfers of more than $250,000 to China. But that's exactly the kind of international banking service that Larry's business requires when shipments come in.
Larry also keeps an open line of credit with Synovus to cover any hiccups in his supply chain.
"I can place an order to be shipped 90 days from now, and then next month I can place the next one for 90 days," he says. While that would usually mean he'd need to pay for the two different orders in two different months, there's always a chance the overseas manufacturer "might combine those two shipments and ship them at the same time."
When this happens, Larry needs to pay for both shipments immediately, potentially triggering a cash flow issue. Fortunately, that doesn't happen often. But having an open line of credit — and experienced bank employees who can help him tap into his line of credit for an immediate overseas wire transfer — ensures his businesses remain in the black no matter when his containers arrive.
That combination of services his business needs plus the warmth of friendly faces makes Synovus a bank where Larry has been comfortable for more than 30 years.
"I don't go to the bank that often myself these days," Larry says, "but when I do go, I like to have friendly faces I know. It makes a difference." And for him, that difference is Synovus.
Do you need a bank that understands your local community and can help with your international banking and supply chain needs? If you'd like to explore working with Synovus, please give us a call at 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887), or stop by a Synovus location near you. We're here to help.