„The retrieval is very easy to set up. Then the update will run automatically. Current ratings can be found directly on the debit card, i.e. exactly where they are needed. With cc|crefodynamics we save a lot of time and always work with the latest information.“
Simone Gräßlin von der Hostettler GmbH
Payment defaults are part of the business risk. But for motorcycle clothing and accessories specialist Hostettler GmbH, that’s no problem. The dealership uses Creditreform ratings and reports to protect itself from payment defaults. To minimize the work of obtaining information, they’ve enhanced their existing ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, with the cc|crefodynamics add-on solution. This software takes current customer evaluations from Creditreform and incorporates them in the customer accounts or business transactions of the company software. Continual updates ensure that credit decisions are always made based on the latest data.
When customers default on their invoices, it’s a problem for medium-sized businesses in particular. Oftentimes, such companies lack the financial reserves to deal with shortages of liquidity. Add to that the major effort required to recover outstanding amounts from deadbeats. There may not be such a thing as absolute protection from payment defaults, but there is a way to greatly reduce the risk of default by continuously monitoring existing and future business associates. According to a survey conducted by researchers from TNS Infratest, however, over half of businesses neither check their customer’s credit nor consistently send payment reminders. Yet bad debt losses are relatively easy to prevent. All you need to do is keep an eye on your customers.
The most convenient way to implement such monitoring is to utilize the services of credit bureaus such as Creditreform. The agency provides information on businesses and individuals which companies can then use in order to make credit decisions based on objective facts. With approximately 4.8 million entries, Creditreform operates one of the largest databases on German companies. Members are able to access this information online. Another key component is collection services, ranging from the dunning run to court orders to pay and all the way to permanent monitoring of legal titles.
But as convenient and useful as these reports and services are, they still involve work on the part of their users. Normally, dunning files have to be manually compiled and transmitted or current credit information has to be added to customer accounts and forms by hand. These sorts of processes not only take time – they’re also potentially susceptible to human error.
Users of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises (previously Microsoft Dynamics NAV) can greatly reduce their administrative burden. The cc|crefodynamics software links your Microsoft ERP system with the online services of Creditreform. Instead of you having to look up credit information and company addresses on the agency’s website and manually copying them over, the processes are started straight from the company software, and the results are then immediately available – without you lifting a finger. The software supports fiver Creditreform functions:
Business reports provide current credit and customer evaluations. Regularly updated data can be used for scoring cards or in order to continuously monitor customers.
Individual credit histories provide credit information on individual people that can be updated upon request and used for further analyses.
The payment histories (DRD) module connects Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises with Creditreform’s Accounts Register Germany (DRD). Through this register, companies exchange information on the payment behavior of their customers.
The master data management system updates the master data stored in the ERP software. Current addresses prevent delivery problems and ensure that documents are made available quickly, e.g. in case of disputes.
The collection interface allows you to transmit outstanding accounts receivable to Creditreform online with the push of a button, minimizing the administrative burden.
So far, cc|crefodynamics has only been available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on premises. But new versions are soon to be released for cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (previously Microsoft Dynamics AX.) This is a crucial point for users, because Microsoft ERP systems are growing closer and closer together, guided by the platform concept. This is making it easier and easier to switch from your own server to the cloud or between the two products. Being able to incorporate add-on solutions like cc|crefodynamics is a plus with regard to investment security. One of the first companies to take advantage of this strategy was Hostettler GmbH from the town of Müllheim in Germany. After 17 years, this motorcycle clothing and accessories dealer decided to switch from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Microsoft Dynamics AX. After that, the company had to get by temporarily without their hotline to Creditreform. As a pilot customer for the new version of the add-on module, however, the wait-time was manageable. “We had to pull up all our information online and manually add it to the customer accounts, so we really missed having that add-on module. Fortunately, just half a year later, COSMO CONSULT was able to provide an initial beta version that we could use in Dynamics AX to automatically obtain credit information,” recalls Simone Gräßlin of Hostettler GmbH.
Currently, the dealership relies exclusively on business reports from Creditreform, accessing information on about 1,000 existing customers at least once a year. This task is handled entirely by cc|crefodynamics. In addition to this, manual queries are performed on up to twenty new customers a week, as well as on special occasions such as collection changes or larger order volumes. “It’s pretty easy to pull up the information. And after that, it’s updated automatically. Current reports show up right in the customer card, meaning right where you need them. With cc|crefodynamics, we save a lot more time and are always working with the latest information,” underlines Gräßlin. Now, Hostettler GmbH can make credit decisions based on objective criteria, and their employees don't have to spend time digging for the information they need.