D&B helps Alpro to get insight in its portfolio

The needs

“At Alpro, we always try to create lasting relationships with our clients; this forms one of the cornerstones of our corporate strategy,” said Elke Segers, Commercial Accounting & Controlling Manager at Alpro. “Knowledge about our clients and gaining an insight into their situation provide our company with the support it needs to maintain these lasting relationships. One of the main priorities of the credit control team is to gain an insight into the financial health of our clients of course. In the past, we based ourselves on reports that we requested from D&B on an ad hoc basis. This provided us with valuable information; but not on an ongoing basis. We were looking for an efficient and structured way of monitoring the situation on a daily basis. This is why we decided on the Portfolio Manager.”

The Portfolio Manager

This online analysis programme merges the information about money outstanding from clients with information in the D&B database. It then analyses the results. This provides a clear overview of the status of our portfolio of clients. Thanks to the Portfolio Manager, companies are able to gain an insight into the risk allocation within their portfolio and they can identify the most high-risk clients in the blink of an eye. The tool exposes the total risks within the company structure and estimates the commercial risk for the following 12 months: handy for management reporting. Elke Segers: “At Alpro we use the Portfolio Manager several times per year for our reporting. But the major added value is the possibility of using the tool on a day-to-day basis. It enables us to monitor our clients more efficiently and decide on which actions may need to be taken in the light of the information gleaned. Which clients need to be sent reminders speedily, do we need to block deliveries, should we extend certain payment deadlines, etc.? These are the concrete questions to which the credit control team can obtain answers thanks to the Portfolio Manager. The programme even provides recommendations with regards credit limits. The Portfolio Manager also monitors any changes identified in the situation of clients and sends us a notification so that we can react immediately. Where necessary we can then take the necessary measures to avoid any damage,” added Elke Segers.

The results

“We were looking for an efficient tool to support the day-to-day operations of the credit control team, and that is precisely what the Portfolio Manager offers us,” said Elke Segers. “Thanks to the efficient structure of the dashboard, we have a permanent and complete overview of all the parameters that we need. D&B adapted the structure of our own database (by internal sales organisation, type of client and country), which makes it additionally handy. The alerts that we receive when there are changes in the situation of a certain client save us time and offer us the guarantee that we do not overlook important information. With exceptional cases we like to have additional information so that we can analyse this in greater depth. In such instances, we ask D&B for a complete one-off company information report. We always do that by the way whenever new clients come on board,” concluded Elke Segers.

Partnership with D&B

“We have total confidence in the partnership with Dun & Bradstreet that has been going on for years. And they have proved yet again that they have well and truly earned this confidence. When setting up the Portfolio Manager, D&B offered us the support we needed to link the client database to the D&B database because this ended up being quite onerous. As an extra service they offered us a series of training courses that were organised here in house. This was a highly welcome service. Because even if the Portfolio Manager is a very user-friendly tool, the training courses still gave us a better understanding of the range of possibilities offered by the product so that we can get the most out of it.”

About Alpro

Alpro is the European pioneer and market leader in the creation of food products and drinks made with soy and other plant-based ingredients. Alpro has already devoted itself to making products in a healthy, sustainable way for more than 30 years. Products that are not just delicious, but that also retain the unique nutritional value of soy beans.

Alpro has production operations in four European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom) and has four sales offices. Its headquarters are located in Ghent. Alpro employs more than 800 people in Europe and has an extensive distribution network.

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