CWS forges a healthy collaboration with its customers

Hygiene, care and safety are high on the agenda at CWS, the full-service provider of workwear, floor care, fire protection, cleanrooms and hygiene solutions. With more than 300,000 customers worldwide in 30 sectors, time and time again they face the great challenge of starting and maintaining a healthy and sustainable customer relationship. In this respect, Altares Dun & Bradstreet proves to be a matchmaker made in heaven: thanks to their clear and reliable reports, CWS has all the necessary information beforehand to find the ideal match among new customers. In addition, Altares Dun & Bradstreet proactively offers solutions, ensuring that the customer relationship remains healthy and resilient, even in turbulent times.


operations in 30 sectors

Healthy customer relationships are key to our success. As a service provider, it is essential for us to have a sustainable and reliable relationship with our customers. Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps us make our choices effectively, based on solid, comprehensive, fast and up-to-date data reports. The simple colour system used enables the sales department to easily take the next action in customer contact. In the future, we want to explore, together with Altares Dun & Bradstreet, ways to further optimize our processes, so that we can continue to grow as a company with a healthy and balanced customer base.”

Kelly Denies
Kelly Denies
Manager accounting Belux

1.    The Challenge

Being able to gauge new customers properly

Healthy customer relationships are key to our success.

No one likes to make a decision based on little or no information. This also applies to the employees at CWS. As a rental company, they believe that a healthy and sustainable customer relationship is extremely valuable. When they are about to onboard new customers or start a collaboration, it therefore helps to make a reliable assessment. But companies that have been CWS customers for many years also benefit from a more proactive approach as this allows CWS to provide plans and services tailored to their needs.

With operations in more than 30 industries, CWS has a huge customer base. From very stable industries to customers who are hit harder by rising energy prices, the ripple effect of the covid-19 pandemic and the overall recession. CWS wants to make a correct assessment for each of those customers: what is the best possible solution for the customer, what is feasible for both partners? This requires a major effort from CWS, an international company with more than 11,000 employees, in which alertness, a resilient approach and a clear view of the customer portfolio offer absolute added value when it comes to starting and maintaining healthy customer relationships. Only by getting up-to-date, comprehensive and fast reports can they provide customers with the right solution, based on the best possible financial information.

2 The solution

The reports and tools of Altares Dun & Bradstreet

Kelly Denies, Manager accounting Belux of CWS explains: “Thanks to Altares Dun & Bradstreet, we've decided to approach customers proactively. Financial health is important to us, not only for ourselves, but also for our customers. With the reports and tools provided by Altares Dun & Bradstreet, we can ensure that the collaboration with our customers is and remains healthy. Prospects can also be screened proactively. As a rental company, we must take a long-term view of customer relations. Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps us with that.”

To ensure that CWS can build a healthy customer base with a focus on sustainable customer relationships, they proactively request reports through Dun & Bradstreet. This enables sales staff to check whether a company is creditworthy before they start a collaboration.

Smoother cooperation between the credit risk department and sales department is the key to success throughout this process. Finding a good match is also worthwhile in this respect: sales staff need to be clear as to whether they have the green light to onboard customers.


people wear our work clothes


countries where we have operations


EcoVadis rating 2022/2023
CWS has recently started using D&B Finance Analytics, the successor to GDM+ (Global Decision Maker), to check whether a company is sufficiently creditworthy to start a collaboration. With this system update, CWS employees now have access to a more user-friendly, efficient and clear tool to help them make their decisions. D&B Finance Analytics enables the sales department to focus on their core business, without having to delve into the numbers. Instead, they can use a simple colour system (green for 'go' and orange and red for doubt or refusal) to make the best decision for each customer.

In addition, CWS uses GDM. On its own initiative, Altares Dun & Bradstreet proposed a number of actions which optimize the advisory role of the credit-risk department in the process: additional parameters such as triggers, procedures and workflows can also be linked to concrete actions, to ensure that the sales department knows when and how to take a next step or perform a check. New customers, without a financial history, can also be appraised more effectively: they automatically end up in the red category. This is a category of customers deserving a separate workflow. As a bonus, Altares Dun & Bradstreet also offers a full-service solution in terms of integration, with the result that the tools and reports are efficiently incorporated into the existing customer management system at CWS.

Kelly Denies of CWS agrees: “We have grown exponentially in the past 4 years. This means that constant evaluation of our systems and tools is necessary to ensure that our work processes and decisions can be implemented on a larger scale. The more our procedures are bulletproof for all regions and all tasks, the more we can lighten the workload and the more we can monitor and manage decision-making procedures in practice from the credit risk department. It is nice that we can envision future possibilities together with Altares Dun & Bradstreet, depending on our growth and scaling up. ”

3. The result

Cost reduction and sustainable customer relationships

CWS finds that it spends less time and resources checking for customers going through financial difficulties. There are fewer bankruptcies in the company's customer base, which allows it to keep growing healthily. Even when the covid-19 pandemic peaked, CWS saw a drop in the total number of bankruptcies within their customer portfolio and therefore a decrease in costs. This means better financial health for CWS, but also a healthier working relationship with customers themselves.

CWS likes to be forward looking. With new options on the table, they want to be able to contact customers even more proactively. If customers are already in a delicate situation financially speaking, CWS can step in faster to contact them and offer alternatives, which can only reinforce their mutual working relationship. Altares Dun & Bradstreet's new proposals follow the exponential growth and associated needs of CWS. The result: a lasting investment in keeping the company healthy.
CWS Koeriers auto
“As a service organisation, we offer a circular rental model with a full-service concept. It is therefore not surprising that a healthy and long-term working relationship with customers is also of crucial importance to us.”
Kelly Denies of CWS concludes: “We chose Altares Dun & Bradstreet because they can offer comprehensive solutions. No one else can provide us with reports that cover so much of the market. Moreover, the reports themselves are very comprehensive, the analyses correct and their updates generated very fast. Working with Altares Dun & Bradstreet not only gives us peace of mind when entering into a new customer relationship; they also challenge us to improve our systems. Altares Dun & Bradstreet is not just a service provider for us: they are a real partner, supporting us in our daily processes. They ensure that we, as a company, remain healthy thanks to a healthier customer base.”

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