Xerox: Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps us reduce risk

Interview with Marco Meijboom – Risk Manager Leasing

Xerox is a global leader in document management, both in technology and services. These include digital presses, multifunctional equipment and network printers, as well as ways to share documents and knowledge more efficiently between company employees. In America, Xerox is so well known that the brand name has become synonymous with copying, a great example of branding. The international company provides both systems and their financing. Customers can, for example, lease a printing line or a printing press.

Xerox: Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps us reduce risk

Interview with Marco Meijboom – Risk Manager Leasing

Xerox is a global leader in document management, both in technology and services. These include digital presses, multifunctional equipment and network printers, as well as ways to share documents and knowledge more efficiently between company employees. In America, Xerox is so well known that the brand name has become synonymous with copying, a great example of branding. The international company provides both systems and their financing. Customers can, for example, lease a printing line or a printing press.

1. The challenge

A dive into information

Marco Meijboom, Risk Manager Leasing, took care of the implementation of a customer acceptance system for the restructuring of the company’s own leasing business for the sales of its document technology. He integrated the company data of Altares Dun & Bradstreet.

Meijboom was closely involved in setting up and implementing iLease in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, the module that links risk management of the lease operation with ERP. That system had to be built from the ground up. iLease includes name and address data, but also data from the Chamber of Commerce and its own data on payment history and exposures. We had a different business information provider, but the tests showed that we only covered 45 percent of our customers with their data. I knew from my experience that Altares Dun & Bradstreet would be able to increase that score considerably. This was reason enough for Meijboom to start a conversation with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. He wanted standard requests (called small tickets at Xerox) below $75,000 to be automatically passed through a scoring model. Meijboom: ‘If a request is rejected by the system, then as a credit manager and risk manager you dive deeper into the information. For larger amounts, Meijboom uses the data obtained from the Altares Dun & Bradstreet system to determine the customer’s risk profile and then give advice to the management.

We really know our customers now.”

2. The solution

Shaping an acceptance policy

With the data from Altares Dun & Bradstreet combined with iLease, Xerox gets answers to questions such as how old is the company, what is the size, how long does the company exist, what is its payment history and what is its cash flow? Through an external link, Xerox also obtains information on whether the company is on the US export trade list. Meijboom: ‘The advantage is that at Altares Dun & Bradstreet we can provide our own definitions. What information do we consider to be important for the assessment of the application?’. In the acceptance policy, Xerox includes the credit rating of Altares Dun & Bradstreet, its own data on days sales outstanding of customers and the current exposure to the company in question. The coverage rate of customer information is now 85 per cent, compared to 45 per cent previously. Meijboom: ‘A definite plus: we now know our customers better than ever’. In some cases, this can save us a lot of trouble, but it also helps in negotiating with customers. Meijboom: ‘Perhaps we can do business anyway by means of an adjusted payment arrangement. With this information, the account manager has the opportunity to start the conversation. He can see what is permissible and fair within the limits of our payment policy.

Scoring model

Xerox sent its 6,000-records customer database to Altares Dun & Bradstreet to enrich it with specific business information. Both parties then added credit limits per customer. Every quarter, Altares Dun & Bradstreet automatically sends a tailor-made update to Xerox. Meijboom: ‘All new customers go through a scoring model, in which they get more points the more creditworthy they are. The system sends a signal about the new customer to Altares Dun & Bradstreet. They come back to us with data that is read directly into our system via an xml file’. This gives Xerox quick access to the latest information from companies. Meijboom: ‘Some sectors, such as notary offices, do not reveal anything about their turnover and annual figures. Then it is important that we are able to make a sketch of the circumstances in which the sector and the specific company find themselves.’. Xerox also supplies printing presses to the graphic industry. That sector is under a lot of pressure due to strong competition. Meijboom: ‘Sometimes it’s about a lot of money. Then we want to know whether we are dealing with a reliable company or whether we need to demand payment guarantees.

Customers end up in one of the profiles on the basis of the scoring model. This way, we give our credit policy shape, without the need for an army of employees.”

3. The result

A look behind the scenes

Financial insight and a glimpse into the customer’s payment behaviour. Meijboom sees these two points as the biggest benefit of the collaboration with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. At the right time, we can use the right data to make a correct assessment of the customer’s acceptance. In addition, Meijboom also wants to include lists of prospects of Altares Dun & Bradstreet. Who should we focus on with our sales? Companies with which the company runs a lower risk could then obtain better conditions. That’s called risk reward pricing’, explains Meijboom. We have not reached that point yet, but Meijboom sees the possibilities. Altares Dun & Bradstreet helps us efficiently reduce the risks of doing business.

Who should we focus on with our sales? Companies with which the company runs a lower risk could then obtain better conditions. That’s called risk reward pricing”

Looking for something similar?

Does this case appeal to you? Would you like advice on how to use our data for your company’s objectives? Or do you have a question? Please fill in the form on the right. We will contact you as soon as possible.