LC Packaging: Real-time data for our international expansion

Interview with Nick Jansen – Director LC Packaging

LC Packaging is a family business that has been active in the packaging industry since 1923. The company that once started selling and repairing jute bags has grown significantly over the past 95 years and expanded to more than 16 countries within Europe, Asia and Africa. This multinational company with more than a thousand employees and over 8,000 customers is not only an importer, but also a producer and distributor of packaging. With more than 70,000 m3 of warehouses, LC Packaging is market leader in packaging for the agricultural sector and FIBCs. By supplying from stock, they can guarantee ‘next day’ deliveries, even in high season.

LC Packaging: Real-time data for our international expansion

Interview with Nick Jansen – Director LC Packaging

LC Packaging is a family business that has been active in the packaging industry since 1923. The company that once started selling and repairing jute bags has grown significantly over the past 95 years and expanded to more than 16 countries within Europe, Asia and Africa. This multinational company with more than a thousand employees and over 8,000 customers is not only an importer, but also a producer and distributor of packaging. With more than 70,000 m3 of warehouses, LC Packaging is market leader in packaging for the agricultural sector and FIBCs. By supplying from stock, they can guarantee ‘next day’ deliveries, even in high season.

1. The challenge

Growth involves risk

However, the growth of LC Packaging also involves risk. It has become increasingly difficult to maintain an understanding of the payment behaviour and creditworthiness of current and potential customers. The company therefore decided to enter into a partnership with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. An important condition for the cooperation was the functionality of linking the company’s own SAP system to Altares’ international database. In this way, the organisation always has real-time access to up-to-date data in the field of credit management. Nick Jansen, director at LC Packaging, talks about the results of the collaboration.

It became increasingly difficult to maintain insight into the payment behaviour and creditworthiness of current and potential customers.”

2. The solution

Real-time Insight into the creditworthiness of customers in SAP

Guaranteeing data quality plays a crucial role for an international organisation such as LC Packaging. “In all countries we work with the SAP-ERP system for registering customer information,” says Nick Jansen. “In order to determine whether you are working with a customer, it is important that the information in this system is up-to-date and transparent in real time. In order to achieve this, we have opted for a link with the Altares database. This way we can be sure that everyone always has access to the latest information. Especially when you are exploring new markets, it is crucial to know whether a customer has good payment behaviour. If, for example, a local customer is no longer allowed to buy anything anywhere, then you do not want to be the organisation that, due to a lack of information and market knowledge, continues to supply products in good faith. In addition, we also supply packaging materials for fruit and vegetables, so we have to deal with significant peaks in the season. This means that during the high season the need for credit is higher than in the low season. In order to manage this, you need real-time credit information.

Automated business decisions

Thanks to the automatic link between the systems, LC Packaging is less dependent on human intervention. “Because we now have automated access to up-to-date data, we don’t have to worry about an employee forgetting to request the credit information. The system indicates in real time how our customers and prospects are doing financially. As soon as we receive a delivery request, the creditworthiness of this customer is immediately checked. Thanks to the collaboration with Altares Dun & Bradstreet, we are now preventing us from delivering to customers who are not creditworthy.”

Credit scores as advice

“We use Altares’ credit score as an advice. Our own experiences and relationship with our customers are still important to us. If, for example, you have been working with a customer for years, we will have a conversationm with them if the advice changes in a negative way. We often know before that time why this has changed. Think, for example, of a customer for whom no new figures have been deposited. We often already know that a company has been merged or split up. So you really need to know the customer’s story. For new customers, the credit score is also a good starting point for an interview. A lower score does not necessarily mean that we will not work together. This personal relationship is not reflected in data.”

“In order to determine whether you are going to work with a customer, it is important that the information in this system is up-to-date and transparent in real time.”

3. The result

Entering new markets and continue to grow

LC Packaging is still growing, and Jansen is very proud of that. He does not exclude that they will enter new countries: “If we are going to do business in a new country, then I know one thing for sure. Before selling even one bag or box, we first implement our SAP-ERP system, including the link to the Altares database. In order to limit risks, it is essential that each country works with the same information and from the same systems. For us, the SAP system and the link with the Altares database are therefore the basis of our organisation. The good thing about the Altares database is that the after sales service is available.

When entering new countries, a reliable credit rating agency is crucial and a prerequisite for successful growth”

Summary

Benefits for LC Packaging

  • Easy and efficient: in 16 countries all information in one system
  • An accessible account manager who thinks along and is proactive
  • Very wide international coverage of Altares Dun & Bradstreet
  • Great interaction with the team of Altares Dun & Bradstreet