Real-time data for our international expansion
Securing data quality plays a crucial role for an international organization like LC Packaging. "In all countries we work with the SAP-ERP system for registering customer information," Nick Jansen explains. "In order to determine whether to engage with a customer, it is important that the information in this system is up to date and real-time."
Because we now have automated, up-to-date data, we don't have to worry about an employee forgetting to request credit information. The system provides real-time information on how our clients and prospects are doing financially.
1. The Challenge
Growth involves risk
“To decide 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.”
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.
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.
2. The Solution
Real-time Insight into the creditworthiness of customers in SAP
Automated business decisionsThanks 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.”
3. The result
Enter 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.