Streamlining Cash Allocation Across 14 Countries

Creditsafe is a global credit risk intelligence provider for businesses around the world. Tens of thousands of businesses around the world use Creditsafe to minimize their credit risk. Touted as the world’s most used supplier of credit reports, the company provides credit risk intelligence on over 365 million companies.

The Challenge

Creditsafe experienced massive growth over the past 10 years, expanding operations from 6 to 14 countries. However, growth had a huge impact on the workload of the credit and collections team. 

“Our (AR) ledger became increasingly bigger, and with it our quantity of cash, which has grown tenfold over those years,” says Jason Braidwood, global head of credit and collections at Creditsafe.

“But we were still relying on Microsoft Navision (our ERP system) and Microsoft Dynamics as our customer relationship management system. We also used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and worked with pivot tables, etc. It was quite an antiquated—and very manual—way of monitoring collections”.

Why BlackLine

Braidwood’s manager encouraged him to explore different options—and find a way to digitally transform and automate the collections process. “We knew we had to streamline our order-to-cash processes and credit policies across all the different countries.”

In search of a new solution, Braidwood travelled to many Creditsafe offices across the world.

“I wanted to take a closer look at different kinds of software solutions. In the beginning, I found it hard to identify anything in the market that addressed our specific needs. Ultimately, I was approached by an old friend of mine, who put me in touch with BlackLine.”

Creditsafe partnered with BlackLine for several key reasons.

“The flexibility, adaptability, and accuracy of the BlackLine solution really made the difference for us,” says Braidwood. “We work in 14 different countries with often different payment cultures and different order to cash and/or business cycles. BlackLine allows us to take these differences into account.”

Despite taking place during the early days of the pandemic, without face-to-face engagements, implementation went very well, says Braidwood.

“For projects like this, I always prefer face-to-face meetings instead of online meetings. However, the collaboration between our project teams, the IT department, and the people at BlackLine was really smooth. We had regular, weekly, team meetings and updates on products, where we were in the project, and any problems that we had. We worked well as a team and as a partnership.”

Braidwood was responsible for overcoming initial resistance by staff to BlackLine, again during the pandemic when travel was severely limited.

“One of my biggest jobs was to convince the credit control team to start using this product. Our staff was used to working with the old software system and glorified spreadsheets. Once they saw how BlackLine made many things, including reporting, so much easier and less time-consuming they were onboard.”

The Results

Streamlined cash allocation across different countries. BlackLine enables Creditsafe to streamline the allocation of cash across 14 countries.

“For instance, the payment culture in Scandinavia is quite different from the payment culture in Italy, so in Italy we have to put more emphasis on the collections process. With BlackLine, we can implement these differences into the software,” says Braidwood.

“As a credit manager I would honestly advise my fellow credit managers to consider using tools like BlackLine to streamline their order-to-cash processes, as it can make your life and your credit team’s so much easier.”

Enabled more accurate predictions. BlackLine automatically assigns a next action date for each case or account, so credit controllers always have an up-to-date workflow list. “In my meetings with local credit managers, this functionality gives me more focus on predicting future cash flow,” says Braidwood.

Improved visibility. With BlackLine, staff also has immediate visibility into customers who promised to pay, if they kept their promise, and what the impact is on cash flow.

“In the past, we sometimes had to wait 12 to 24 hours before a payment was processed in our system. But BlackLine allocates incoming payments in real-time, so credit controllers are working with live accounts receivable ledgers that are always up to date,” says Braidwood.

“Our credit controllers have a much better focus on who they need to chase instead of who they want to chase. They can call customers in full confidence that outstanding overdue invoices aren’t paid. That is a big plus for me, as we’re hitting collection targets much quicker than ever before.”

Saved time. Prior to BlackLine, processing cash inflows required a full day. Today, it takes less than 90 minutes. “BlackLine really helped to enhance the performance of our credit team,” says Braidwood.

In addition, Braidwood is spending less time managing reports. “In the past, reporting took me three or four days. I can now deliver the same reports in less than one day. BlackLine makes my life much more efficient, and the solution also offers me much greater visibility into our performance across all our countries.”

Industry

Financial Services

ERP

Multiple

Region

Global

Company Size

Enterprise

Business Impact

Streamlined cash allocation across different countries

Enabled more accurate predictions

Improved visibility, saved time


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