Know exactly who you are doing business with internationally
Canon Medical Systems Europe (formerly known as Toshiba Medical Systems) is a supplier of medical systems. The organisation excels in diagnostic imaging systems, including X-ray, MRI, CT and ultrasound. By continuously innovating, the organization contributes to the quality of life for people worldwide. And with an extensive network of nearly 100 subsidiaries and affiliates, the dynamics are great. Important innovations such as the first digital computer (1954), the first cardio echo system (1978) and the first DVD (1995) were developed by Canon. Monique already worked at her previous employer with the products of Altares Dun & Bradstreet. D&B Credit is indispensable for Canon to keep a grip on all international dealers, end users and suppliers. Recently Onboard has been added to this for compliance management.
If we can’t find something, if we have a strange feeling about a certain party or if we simply have a question about the system, we call Altares Dun & Bradstreet. They will then help us further and investigate what is needed to make an informed decision. These research results then determine whether or not I want to work with a party.”
1. The Challenge
Reliable dealers in Eastern Europe and Russia
"To make sure that we have good, reliable dealers everywhere, we need the expertise of Altares Dun & Bradstreet.”
“When I joined Toshiba Medical Systems (now Canon Medical Systems) in 1998, there was nothing we could do to systematically identify risks. From my previous employer Eurobrom, I worked satisfactorily with Altares Dun & Bradstreet. I was very pleased with the people and the credit management solutions that were offered to me. And so Altares Dun & Bradstreet became my partner again in my challenge at Canon.
Our medical equipment is often financed with government money. But we can’t directly conclude contracts with the government; there has to be a dealer in between. Within Europe, Russia and a number of former Soviet states, Canon works with about 70 dealers. These are companies that sell our medical systems to hospitals in different countries. Each dealer specializes in a particular product but also in a particular region. Because they are crucial to our business operations, we want to know exactly who we are dealing with. We do a lot of business with Russia and the stand-up countries and experience many cultural differences. In the Netherlands, a company has to register at the Chamber of Commerce. In big Russia they don’t know this, there are different rules. There is only a registration requirement. For example, the Russians really have a completely different view on doing business.”
2. The Solution
Anticipating current legislation
“With the credit management solution D&B Credit I can find all our dealers, end users and suppliers in one online system. I log in at least twice a week and – in periods when there are many new customers – sometimes even more often. I then check our existing customers, for example when the annual figures have been updated. I receive a mail update from Altares Dun & Bradstreet with every change. This leads me to believe, for example, that a member of the board is leaving or that there are payment delays being experienced at a customer’s premises. There is a lot of money involved in medical equipment. I have to keep a close eye on the outstanding debts and that goes well with D&B Credit.
I am the main user of our system and make sure that all dealers and end users are in good shape. Although we have little contact with the end users of our equipment, they are all listed in our system. This allows our service team to travel quickly to the right location if problems arise. My colleague from the internal affairs department also makes grateful use of D&B Credit to keep track of suppliers and buyers. Once a year, we evaluate with Altares Dun & Bradstreet whether the system still meets our requirements.”
3. The result
Screening at the highest level
Innovation is the backbone of Canon. But Altares Dun & Bradstreet is also growing. The organisation collects more and more data and is therefore able to supply more and more products. That’s why, since 2014, we’ve been using the compliance solution Onboard. In Onboard I find all the data that is also in D&B Credit, but here they are complemented with compliance information. With this system, we verify whether dealers worldwide comply with the current regulations. Russia and Europe have a different view on laws and regulations. Screening, for example, is not part of the Russian culture; we have to take care of it ourselves. But also think of filtering on relatively new phenomena such as international sanction lists. We must constantly anticipate on this.
"The quality of international data is crucial to our business operations. Altares Dun & Bradstreet is simply number one in this area. And although the data from all over the world needs to be brought together, I receive the reports in no time. If a BV is not known, I ask Altares Dun & Bradstreet to start an investigation. Often a day or four is enough to provide me with good insight. No day is the same, no customer is the same, no deal is the same. But our credit management and compliance process is well built and therefore a fixed value in turbulent times.”