By Yann LAPORTE
URIOS – BEIC
To deal with outstanding receivables, companies implement curative measures for amicable or legal collection.
While debts may end up being paid, the company can suffer from these late payments, which put a strain on cash flow and undermine it. According to a 2018 Atradius survey, 58% of suppliers say they experience financial difficulties due to these late payments.
An effective measure to accelerate cash inflow is the implementation of a preventive dunning approach.
This type of solution is appropriate for companies with lots of BtoB clients and a large quantity of invoices to manage. These companies experience margin squeeze, due to:
– On the one hand, deterioration of the aged trial balance and DSO,
– And on the other hand, an increase in their cash requirements following strong growth or reimbursement of LBO debt.
Preventive dunning must be given either before the due date or just after it, preferably in the form of a telephone call.
There are 3 key points:
1. Firstly, it should be clear that for various reasons, the payment circuit is particularly complex in large groups. To avoid becoming “banker” to this type of structure, all stages in the payment process must be identified. Preventive dunning enable you to identify the right contacts and to check that your clients possess all the elements necessary to make payments: such as the order form or the invoice.
2. Secondly, during the telephone call, it is imperative to identify any disputes that could lead to late payments. If this should be the case, forward this information to the departments concerned to solve disputes as quickly as possible.
3. Lastly, the final stage consists of obtaining a firm commitment from your debtors on the date of payment, and then to give them a dunning once this date has gone by.
It is vital to put a specific preventive dunning unit in place, made up of staff trained in negotiation and who possess very strong client relationship skills.
From experience, it is wise to write specific dunning scripts per client segment. This will enable your teams to improve the effectiveness of their actions and obtain more promises of payment.
We also recommend using credit management and collection software, featuring key functionalities such as monitoring of receivables and automation of some tasks.
URIOS – BEIC is a debt collection specialist with more than 20 years of experience.
Initially we developed this solution to meet a specific client requirement. Implementation of preventive dunning made it possible to quickly improve the client’s aged trial balance and DSO… to the extent that it generated an increase in payments prior to due date.
In parallel, we saw that this approach made it possible to challenge practices, accelerate internal collaboration and improve service levels.