AgroEnergy, part of Eneco Group, is a longtime user of our MA!N credit management software with some specific use cases. They are an energy partner for greenhouse horticulture and help horticulturalists optimise their business operations in the field of energy management. This blog is about how AgroEnergy uses MA!N.
AgroEnergy operates in a market which is quite specific, partly because customers are regularly confronted with large price fluctuations for their products. This has a risk impact for AgroEnergy. In 2013, the internal system was due for replacement and Peter Heidema from AgroEnergy contacted CE-iT for the first time to see if MA!N could fulfil the requirements. It turned out to be a good match.
Functional set-up AgroEnergy
At AgroEnergy MA!N supports collections management and uses different profiles for customers, but perhaps even more important, it helps manage risk. It automates very specific processes and provides information about potential risk. “MA!N continues where the other standard software vendors stop”, says Peter. For performing these tasks, MA!N reads data from three different systems.
We want to highlight three specific use cases:
- Weekly payments.
- Interest payments.
- Three Party Agreement (3PA).
“MA!N continues where the other standard software vendors stop.”
As an energy partner for greenhouse horticulture, AgroEnergy has to deal with relatively high claims and is confronted with a market that is quite volatile. The latter translates to a potentially high financial risk. Partly because of the time between the energy consumption and the settlement. To serve customers with an increased risk, AgroEnergy therefore works with weekly payments.
With a weekly payment, MA!N uses an estimate of the customer’s future energy consumption for calculating a payment plan. This is based on weekly installments for future invoices. MA!N confirms the plan to the customer and acts in the event of a late payment.
The weekly payment is an ongoing process and every month MA!N reassesses the consumption estimate and creates a new arrangement for the coming weeks. Executed by MA!N itself.
From the initial contact between AgroEnergy and CE-iT, the weekly payment was an important issue that Peter wanted to automate. Together, we wrote the stories for this process and at CE-iT we turned that in a technical solution into MA!N. One that other vendors couldn’t match.
Customers who pay their invoices before or after the due date can pay or receive debit and credit interest, respectively. MA!N calculates and monitors for each customer whether they have to pay or receive interest. It considers a threshold so that, for example, an interest amount of € 0.10 is ignored. AgroEnergy maintains the interest rates in MA!N and interest accrues until it reaches the threshold.
Three Party Agreement
It’s possible that a customer isn’t able to meet its payment obligations. In its business operations, however, this customer is dependent on the energy supplies by AgroEnergy. And in turn, AgroEnergy prefers to continue delivering, but they must also manage the risks. In such cases, a 3-party-agreement can be concluded whereby the bank guarantees the payment of invoices.
For the drafting of the agreement, AgroEnergy adds the customer’s bank as a party in MA!N. If an invoice is not paid on time, MA!N will first send a reminder to the customer. In case the invoice remains unpaid, MA!N sends a message to the bank for claiming the guarantee.
“MA!N offers customisation without the need for custom software.”
Peter explains that the move to MA!N started with a preliminary investigation into the various providers of Credit Management Software. His eye immediately fell on the flexibility that MA!N offers. This flexibility was an important reason for choosing CE-iT. It combines the advantage of standard software with the option to set up specific functions, such as the weekly payment. MA!N offers customisation without the need for actual custom software. This is possible due to the low code component of MA!N.
Short lines, fast response There is another reason why CE-iT was chosen. AgroEnergy wants a supplier where the lines are short. A reliable partner that switches quickly and responds to future requirements. In practice, this means that in case of problems or questions, Peter can send an e-mail or call an employee that can help him instantly.
Over the years, several features have been added or changed, and it doesn’t stop there. For the near future, Peter has the following wishes:
- A risk window that can be used by different people within AgroEnergy, for example during appointments with customers. This will provide an overall view of the most important customer data and risk factors, both graphically and in text.
- An internal rating model for horticulture. MA!N must calculate this rating based on both internal and external data, for example from Creditsafe, and optional input from an employee. For regular customers, this will be a fully automated process. For customers with a certain turnover, a human step is added.
With MA!N, AgroEnergy has credit management software that meets current requirements and can that is future proof. And all this from our Azure Cloud, with the same software that all our other customers use.