Vroon, a global provider of shipping services, wants to be aware of its customers’ financial health at all times. The company therefore purchases credit checks and compliance insights from Altares Dun & Bradstreet.
A good assessment of financial health
Eirini Tsoumpou is a legal counsel at Vroon. From the headquarters in Breda (Netherlands), she is responsible, among other things, for making sure that the company mitigates any compliance and non-payment risks in commercial contracts with customers. “We have a broad portfolio of international customers. In order to conclude contracts with them, and to determine the terms of those contracts, we need to be aware of their financial status.”The D&B Credit credit check service provides Eirini with a good assessment of the financial health of prospects and existing customers. “We can see when a company is close to bankruptcy, what its liquidity position is, but also how long it usually takes it to pay bills.” Altares has a database that registers all payment transactions to and from companies, which enables them to make those estimates.
In the shipping industry, as in any industry, it is conceivable that a customer's financial situation may change quickly. With a recession on the way and war in Europe, the economy is fluctuating considerably. “We have Altares constantly monitoring our current customers,” says Eirini . “If the financial health of any of them changes, we will be notified immediately.”
Altares D&B screens Vroon's customers on a number of points that give a good indication of their financial stability. The system assigns a label to this stability: the 'failure score'. If it changes (for example from 'low' to 'moderate'), Eirini will receive an alarm. “I pass this on to our business units. They can then talk to the customer and take measures, such as advance payments, to mitigate any payment risks.”
Appraising and monitoring the financial status of customers is not the only or even the most important thing that Altares does for Vroon. “Our aim is to ensure that we're compliant with all applicable rules and regulations, at all times,” adds Eirini. Like any other company, Vroon must comply with applicable laws and regulations. “If there are sanctions against a legal person or entity, we have to be aware of it, since the consequences of non-compliance with sanctions can be significant.”
The war in Ukraine presents Vroon with exactly that challenge. When a customer approaches us, the identity of the UBO – the ultimate beneficial owner, in other words the person who takes the profit – is usually unclear beforehand. “Altares gives us real-time data with their tool indueD, that allows us to form a good opinion much better and faster. We rely on the tools and expertise they can provide, to ensure that we run as little risk as possible and always adhere to the rules.”
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