Integrated approval workflow management in one tailor-made tool

About Geodis Wilson Divisions

Fariba Moghadam is the Corporate Credit Manager of Geodis Wilson, one of the world’s largest freight management companies. The backbone of Geodis Wilson is a self-reliant network of offices and air and ocean hubs in 61 countries, with a strong presence in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region. Geodis Wilson also has offices in the Middle East and in Africa. Global reach is extended further through a network of selected agents. This ensures service of cargo flows efficiently and consistently across the world.

Worldwide coverage

Prior to the partnership with D&B, all countries within the Geodis Wilson group worked independently with their own credit information provider. At headquarter level it was recognized a more consistent approach would improve reporting and analyzing of risk assessments significantly. Choosing the D&B worldwide network standardized the process in the different countries.

Approval workflow

With 40 countries using one global provider, the next challenge was to get the users in the different countries to use one tool the same way using different levels of approvals in a workflow. After looking at the standard solutions offered by D&B we came to the conclusion that we needed a workflow tool enabling:

- Integrated data in the workflow (minimize manual work and reduce cycle time)
- Online access for the users around the globe (same portal access with different access levels/roles)
- Embedded credit limit approval scheme (per country/region)
- Enhanced reporting possibilities (live auditing purpose)
- Facility to calculate credit limit upfront (prior requesting the report)
- Email and notification function

Together with D&B technical consultant, we came to the conclusion that requirements could ideally be met by using Mendix platform combining D&B data together with integrated approval workflow as designed and desired by Geodis Wilson in line with our Internal Control Guidelines.

The end product

The Geodis Decision Maker (GDM) based on the Mendix platform has all the required features for workflow management and approval thresholds. From the lowest level of input to the highest level of authorization, a continuous audit on credit approvals was guaranteed.

“I have a total view in GDM based on the default thresholds scheme per country with the flexibility to change in GDM the threshold from a default to a customized scheme. Next to this I can also run reports per country in order to track and trace usage”, says Fariba Moghadam

The facility to calculate credit limit level based on net sales and the payment terms (and customs or duties) are also embedded in the workflow. In these workflow approval processes each approver can add notes or upload relevant information supporting the credit limit decision. The design of the reports for the users was kept simple and understandable, but yet providing enough information to give a good overview of the requested customer. The GDM has three different reports which can be viewed. The possibilities are, from a quick snapshot over a standard report to a comprehensive multipage information report.

After designing the tool, it was tested for more than 6 weeks with one of the larger units on functionality and user interface before going live and being rolled out to all the other countries.

The next steps in developing: As the initial approval of (new) customers is now well embedded, Geodis is looking for monitoring existing customers also from this tool using D&B information and Mendix technology.

The benefits

For a multinational company as Geodis Wilson, with different levels of authorities, this workflow tool has enabled global insight on (new) customers at headquarter level. In addition it also helped the different countries in order to eliminate unnecessary manual input at the source. The D&B online connection is a timesaver as it provides within a few clicks the desired identification information. Overall communication improved through the whole credit approval channel.

Fariba Moghadam: I greatly value the cooperation with D&B and I am pleased with the tailor-made solution build by D&B using Mendix technologies. The end product Geodis Decision Maker brought our credit approval procedures to a higher level and professionalized way of reviewing the credit worthiness of our valuable customers.

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