Furniture Manufacturer Is Sitting Pretty Thanks to Global Data & Insight
Recticel is a Belgian manufacturer of foam fillings for top-brand seating furniture, mattresses and bed bases, as well as insulation material, material for car interiors, and various other products for industrial and domestic use.
The ChallengeWith this high-volume manufacturing business, Recticel needed a way to more effectively assess the creditworthiness of customers and assign the appropriate credit limits and lines. They recognized it was essential to have access to sufficient, accurate information and external data.
After thorough consideration, Recticel chose to work with Dun & Bradstreet, leveraging two Dun & Bradstreet risk management solutions: Portfolio Manager and DBAI.
Portfolio Manager allows analysis to be made on customer portfolios. The decision to use Portfolio Manager was based on the ability to also leverage competitively-priced, high-quality global information from Dun & Bradstreet that allows Recticel to apply a consistent credit management process in risk evaluation and rating, based on the ability to assign credit limits in all its branches.
Also important was Dun & Bradstreet’s ability to integrate with SAP. In addition to Portfolio Manager, Recticel also uses DBAI. This online portal enables Recticel to download detailed reports from every legal entity, concerning existing customers, potential customers, suppliers, competitors, and so on. DBAI is a useful addition to Portfolio Manager because the module gives access to even more detailed information, such as the turnover and net profits of companies, their complete balance sheets, or important legal information. These extensive reports allow Recticel to carry out even more in-depth analyses.
“Before we began working with Dun & Bradstreet, our various branches used local providers for gathering external data,” says Karel Van Tendeloo, Corporate Finance Officer & Central Credit Coordinator at Recticel International Services. “The problem with that method was the fact that these data providers did not necessarily apply the same parameters for their ratings, which
made it difficult to compare the ratings in the various countries.”
How It Works
Recticel can now check the percentage of its customers that have received a high, medium, or low failure risk rating from Dun & Bradstreet. At the same time, they receive an instant picture of a customer’s payment patterns, more easily answering questions such as: Is this customer likely to pay more quickly or more slowly than average? In addition, with information from
Dun & Bradstreet, they can immediately identify changes in payment patterns.
The system also provides an interface between Portfolio Manager and the FSCM module in the Recticel SAP system, so that the rating and payment information from D&B can be integrated into SAP. Van Tendeloo continues, “We work with internal scoreboards. Every customer is given a credit score that serves as a basis for determining credit limits. Because we can import external data in our SAP system, we can determine the score on the basis of our own internal data and the external information from Dun & Bradstreet. That is important added value. It is also possible to integrate information from SAP, such as the aging balance, in Portfolio Manager via the interface. That gives us an immediate picture of outstanding amounts for high failure risk customers, for example.”
Results & ROI
Today, twenty people in more than eleven countries are leveraging the Dun & Bradstreet solution. And as far as Van Tendeloo is concerned, the solutions have more than proved their worth based on the huge gains they’ve had in efficiency.
With Portfolio Manager, Recticel is much more accurately targeted with analysis of their customer portfolio. They can also focus specifically on certain sectors, and to rapidly gain a clear picture of exposure to particular risks.
Another major benefit is the integration with SAP. Before the partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, credit scores and limits were granted solely based on internal data, such as payment histories. The addition of Dun & Bradstreet insight and ratings has enabled more variables to be directly incorporated into a ‘Recticel score’ via the interface.
“If a customer suddenly starts paying later than usual, we know that something may be amiss,” Van Tendeloo says. “The big advantage in comparison to the old system is that Portfolio Manager gives us immediate information about our customer portfolio. We can zoom in on particular customers, sectors or geographic regions straight away and carry out targeted analyses. It means our work has become much more efficient, and it also enables us to perform analyses of individual companies, business activities, sectors, or geographic regions.”